6 Tips on How to Help Prevent Oil Theft

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Heating oil has become an expensive commodity, making it an attractive target for thieves.

In this blog, we’ve put together a handy guide with some useful tips on how you can try to protect your home from heating oil theft.

Items that need to be considered –

  1. Type of tank you have
  2. Location & surroundings of your tank
  3. CCTV & Security Lighting
  4. Tank Monitoring Alarms
  5. Tank Padlocks
  6. Anti Theft Marker Dye

Let’s look at these in a little more detail…

#1 What type of tank do you have?

A steel tank is probably the most robust form of oil storage and not quite as easily syphoned with a drill as a plastic tank would be.

However, they are substantially more expensive.

Further comparisons can be made between Steel & Plastic tanks in one of our previous blogs Plastic v Steel Tanks: Which is best?

#2 Location of your tank

Some properties are lucky enough to have a boiler house, shed or some other form of outbuilding where an oil tank can be situated. Obviously, will be much easier to keep the oil secure if the tank is in a locked building.

It is not always possible to house an oil tank indoors and the majority are probably in gardens but there are steps you can take to help with security outdoors.

Where possible, position the tank in a spot that is visible from your home but not visible from a public road. This will hopefully reduce the risk of potential thieves ‘spying’ an opportunity in the passing.

Use fencing, shrubs & hedging (any ‘thorny’ variety is especially good – just don’t forget to leave a safe space for your delivery driver to get by! 😊) to obscure and disguise an oil tank.

Use gravel on the ground surrounding and on paths leading up to the oil tank so any activity in the vicinity can be heard.

#3 CCTV & Security Lighting

CCTV and Security Lighting has become much more affordable and there are a variety of options available nowadays.

Our friends at Lock & Roll Security can offer you excellent, knowledgeable advice!

#4 Tank Monitoring Alarms

We can provide and install a watchman Alarm monitor that will detect a sudden drop in the level of oil in your tank and sound an alarm at the receiver in your home to alert you.

However, care must be advised when dealing with a theft in progress and we would urge anyone to call 999 rather than attempt to stop the theft single handedly.

Related: What is a digital monitoring system? ( And do you need one?)

#5 Tank Padlocks

There is a vast variety of padlocks on the market and this is probably what most people think would be the most obvious and quickest way to secure an oil tank.

However, in reality, most thieves who are looking to steal fuel will come equipped with tools to remove any padlock or they will drill a whole directly into your tank to syphon out the fuel. Therefore, a padlock may deter an ‘honest’ thief but is likely to be completely ineffective to the more organised, ‘tooled up’ robber!

#6 New Anti-Theft Marker Dye

There is currently a new product on the market, which we can supply, that changes the colour of fuel in your tank so if it is stolen, it can be identified if it is recovered from a potential thief.

However, at present, this is only available for white diesel. We are keeping an eye out for anything similar that becomes available for kerosene heating oil.

In summary: deterring heating oil theft

While the things listed may act as a deterrent to heating oil thefts, sadly, most of these crimes are organised and executed by ‘professional’ criminals.

If you suspect you have been a victim of heating oil theft, call 101 to report at your earliest opportunity or 999 if the act is in progress.

At Carnegie Fuels, our tagline is “always there”. We are always there for our regular customers. We go the extra mile to ensure that if the worst should happen, they are never without oil. We can get your oil replenished as a matter of urgency.

As always, if you require any further advice please get in touch with us, our dedicated office team are on hand to help.

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