Heating oil theft is a persistent problem. During winter, when fuel tanks generally have more oil stored, incidents of oil theft rise. The number of reported oil thefts will rise and fall according to seasonal changes. However it is important to make sure your heating oil is secure all year round.
In this blog I will advise on how to prevent the theft of heating oil and help to make you aware of the options that are available. The cost of oil theft can be damaging in many ways – stay one step ahead.
Here are some questions to consider when keeping your oil safe from burglary:
- Where is your tank? Is it easily visible or accessible?
Ideally it should be concealed from the view of the public and within view of your house, so you can keep an eye on it. This makes it harder for thieves as they are more likely to be spotted. Most will not have a say on the position of their tank but it can be re-sited. If your tank is easily visible to passers-by they will be more likely to attempt a theft. Installing a fence or planting bushes are two methods of concealing your tank.
- Does your tank have a lock?
Make it difficult for any potential thief and install a lock on your tank. To purchase your own tank lock and read more information please visit our shop.
- Does your tank have an Oil Level Gauge?
Oil Level Gauges alert you when oil levels in the tank fall. There are a wide range of gauges available and they alert via an alarm or even by text to your mobile.
- Is your property too open?
If your property is easily accessible it will be more appealing to thieves. Consider ways to make it difficult for unwanted visitors to enter. Examples include high fences around the perimeter of your property, locked gates, thorny bushes and an alarm system. Alarms similar to indoor burglar alarms are available for open spaces such as gardens. This will alert you to any intrusion on your property.
- Is your property too dark?
Darkness and low visibility will be attractive to thieves. Consider installing security lights which are triggered by footsteps. If your property is not close to any streetlamps you could install your own lights. You would then be in a better position to spot intruders attempting to stay hidden.
- Have you considered installing surveillance equipment?
CCTV cameras may not improve the aesthetics of your home but they are a very big deterrent to potential thieves. The sight of a camera is likely to stop any attempts at theft of your home. If it doesn’t deter, it provides visual evidence of the incident, which can then be used to track down the perpetrators.
- Are you putting yourself at risk?
The best option if you spot anything suspicious is to report the matter to the police. Dealing with criminals on your own could put you at serious risk. Make sure your own safety is secure as this is ultimately more important than your heating oil!
- Do you communicate with your neighbours?
You could consider communicating with your neighbours if you are leaving your property for extended periods. They will be able to keep an eye out for you and spot any suspicious visitors to your home.
Overall it is important to remain vigilant at all times. Thieves can strike when you least expect it or when you are at your most vulnerable. Regularly check your tank for any signs of damage or tampering. This could alert you to any attempted thefts.
By following these tips your heating oil should be safe in your tank to keep you nice and warm for those cold nights.