Home Heating Oil Spill: Initial Steps to Take

As a homeowner, the last thing you will want on your mind is having to deal with a heating oil spill.  Although most properly maintained systems never experience a spill, it is very important to be prepared.  Many questions may run through your head, two of which include:

  • Who do I call?
  • What do I do?

These steps will help you answer these questions:

  • Who Do I Call?
    • Notify Your Local Fire Department and the Regional MassDEP office as soon a spill is discovered.
      • The Fire Department will respond to any immediate fire hazards and public safety issues. They can also help minimize any risks posed to you and the environment.
      • The law requires you to contact MassDEP within two hours of discovery. Their role is to ensure that the people responsible for the spill, clean it up in a manner that protects you and the environment.
    • Notify your fuel provider as soon as possible
      • A technician should be available to help shut off the valves and stop any further the oil release.
    • Notify Your Insurance Agent
      • Notification is a requirement for an insurance claim payment. Have as much information available. A claims adjuster will need to come to your property as soon as possible.
    • What Do I Do?
      • Provide good ventilation throughout the home; Open windows and set up fans to increase airflow.
      • High concentrations of oil vapors can cause a number of short and long-term health effects. If possible, leave the home and wait for help.
      • Throughout the process it is good to keep track of key contacts and information.


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