5 Things You Need to Know if You Have a Heating Oil Spill

If you use heating oil to heat your house, it is likely that you will have to deal with a heating oil leak. If you do have a leak, you need to make sure that you know how to handle it correctly. Heating oil can be toxic and you should clean it up immediately. If you have a large fuel spill or leak, you should call your heating oil company for help since they will have the tools to make sure that everything is cleared up and disposed of properly. 

Avoid Sparks

Since heating oil is flammable, you don't want to have anything around that could possibly cause it to catch on fire. That means that you will need to make sure that any pilot lights or electric sparks are extinguished. You may want to turn off your heater or boiler at the breaker, if possible. Likewise, make sure that nothing electric is being used around the spill. It's better to be safe than sorry, and it doesn't take a lot of effort to be safe. 

Open the Windows

Heating oil is pretty stinky. Even a little bit can cause your house to stink. The more there is, the worse it will smell and the longer the smell will last. So, you want to open the windows and let the fumes out. You may want to open more windows than the ones just around where the spill was, you might also want to open all the windows in the house to get better ventilation and a better chance of getting rid of the smell. 

Prevent Further Exposure

You want to make sure that the heating fuel doesn't get tracked around your house. Block of the area as well as you can. If you have pets, then you should make sure that they are locked into another room so that they don't get into the heating oil and track it around. That will also make sure that they don't get it on their fur and lick it off. 

Safety Gear

You want to make sure that you are protecting yourself while you are cleaning. You should use rubber gloves to clean up the spill and get some kind of coverings or booties for your shoes or use a pair of shoes that you are planning on throwing away anyway since the smell will likely permeate them. 

Absorbent Material

You will want to use something that can absorb the oil. Kitty litter will do that for you. Put some on the spill, let it sit for a few minutes, and then shovel it onto a plastic sheet, wrap the sheet up, and place it in a garbage bag. Put the bag outside until you can appropriately dispose of it. 

Fuel oil can make sure that your house stays warm, but if it spills, you need to make sure that it gets cleaned up as soon as possible.