MOC's tips on how to keep your family warm this winter

WELLESLEY, MASS. — When weather forecasts project heavy snow and cold temperatures in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Oilheat Council (MOC) is letting heating oil consumers know they can take simple steps to stay warm and safe during inclement winter weather.

"The top priority for oilheat retailers is keeping customers warm," MOC President Michael Ferrante said. "The last thing any driver wants is to be unable to deliver oil to a home or business because of a lack of access to the tank and fill pipe. Let's work together against the snow and cold by ensuring that delivery trucks and drivers have safe, easy access to tanks."

Make sure your heating system and appliances are running efficiently. Have a qualified service technician annually inspect and service your appliances and oilheat system. This will ensure that your appliances are running as efficiently as possible, conserving fuel and saving dollars.

Keep heating vents clear of snow and ice, and make sure that carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are installed in your home. If a vent is obstructed, an appliance may malfunction and create a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide.

Consider automatic delivery, which allows retailers to use computerized systems signaling them when tank volumes are low and need to be refilled.

If consumers have an in-ground tank, they should ensure that fill pipes are clearly marked and readily accessible for oilheat delivery drivers. A thin wire stake with a colored flag next to fill pipes usually works well. The marker should be higher than the average snow cover depth for your location.

If oilheat tanks are located behind their home or business, consumers should ensure that fence gates can be opened and there is a clear path for deliveries.

A hundred foot heating oil hose can weigh more than 100 lbs. So please help to make the driver's job as easy as possible.

Many oilheat retailers sell weatherproof enclosures for outdoor tanks to protect them from snow and ice.

MOC, established in 1954, represents more than 300 companies statewide delivering in excess of 70 percent of the heating oil used in homes, hospitals, schools, and businesses. MOC is also a member of the heating oil industry's Energy Communications Council.



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