News From OilFiredUp
Arsonists Attack Co. Antrim Heating Oil Installation
27th June 2012
A young Co. Antrim family has been left homeless, after their heating oil installation was attacked by arsonists on Sunday, with Donna O'Brien and her three children aged 4, 5 and 6 years old being forced to move into emergency accommodation.
Arsonists struck Ms. O'Brien's home in Randalstown, Co. Antrim during the early hours of Sunday morning. It is understood an oil supply line carrying fuel from Ms. O'Brien's oil tank was cut, before wheeled bins at the rear of the family home were set alight. The fire subsequently spread to Ms. O'Brien's oil tank, before setting light to her garden and a boundary fence.
Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster programme earlier this week, Ms. O'Brien described how she been woken by a noise at her window and got up to find the rear of her property ablaze. She managed to evacuate her three children from the family home, before calling the emergency services. However, Police were already at the scene, having noticed the smoke some five miles away in Antrim town.
The specific circumstances of Ms. O'Brien's oil tank installation are not known. However, the wider issue of fire protection at oil tank installations in Northern Ireland, is an issue which has previously been raised by OilFiredUp.com, with many installations in the province omitting even the most basic fire protection requirements contained within British Standard BS5410 Part 1 and OFTEC Technical Instruction Book 3.
One retired oil heating technician told OilFiredUp.com, "It is difficult for any regulations to protect against determined arsonists. That's a job for the Police and not the oil heating industry. However, detailed requirements do exist for the storage of oil at domestic heating installations and in many instances in Northern Ireland, they are being blatantly ignored.
"I've previously quoted to install a tank, only to find myself being undercut by a rogue installer who simply omits the necessary fire protection measures. That rendered me uncompetitive and rendered the installation unsafe. It reached the point I rarely bothered to quote for oil tank installation work anymore. And looking at many new and replacement oil tank installations across the province, it's an issue that as an industry, we appear collectively to be either unwilling or incapable of tackling."