Deterring Heating Oil Thefts

Villages in rural areas, such as Paulton, are often the hardest hit in the icy winter months. The last thing you need is to be stranded without heating after an oil theft. However, with the increase in oil prices and high demand of the winter months, heating oil robberies are at an all-time high. Many tanks are capable of holding hundreds of pounds worth of oil so it makes sense to invest in their defence. By considering five different factors, you can make it much harder for thieves to gain access to your tank this year:

1.      Location

Firstly, as oil is obviously a highly flammable substance, it is recommended that tanks should be placed at least 1.8m away from any buildings. For delivery reasons, you will want your tank to be easily accessible. However, try to keep it as far from the road as possible. Not only will it be less visible but the thought of hauling your tank 200m up the road to their vehicle won’t sound particularly appealing to a thief intending on making a quick getaway! Also, store away any empty oil drums or external fuel lines so as not to draw attention to the presence of oil on your property

2.      Security

Planting defensive shrubbery around oil tanks is a popular technique to deter thieves. Noone likes having to battle through thorny bushes. However, neither does your delivery driver and, therefore, you must strike the balance between protection and accessibility. Also, don’t underestimate the power of bolt cutters to cut through the average lock. A good quality lock, such as a flat tank lock, will prove a much harder contender and a worthwhile investment.

3.      Visibility

It should be no secret that thieves like to operate away from the eyes of others. By placing a tank nearby to a window, thieves may consider the risk of being spotted too great. Whilst keeping a watch on your tank is advised, no one can monitor their tank at all times and, therefore, installing motion sensitive lights should also act as another effective deterrent.

4.      Monitoring

Cameras can be bought for surprisingly cheap nowadays. Take advantage of this by installing some CCTV and you could perhaps even catch some thieves in the act. Even if you don’t succeed in stopping the crime, you will stand a much greater chance of identifying them afterwards. In addition, another option to consider is fitting an alarm system to your tank. There are systems that have been designed to fit to storage tanks and alert you if your oil level is getting critically low or drops dramatically.

5.      Insurance

Check in advance whether your insurance policy covers thefts and if so, make sure that you take care of any conditions specified by the company about the security of your premises. If all four previous steps fail and thieves do gain access to your oil, at least you will be financially protected.

Hopefully, by following these tips, your tank will be more secure this year so you can enjoy the rest of the winter months in comfort. For any further tips, please see the HeatingOil.co.uk blog. You can also take a look at the OFTEC website for more information.