Heating oil tanks store thousands of pounds worth of heating oil, and are often located in remote areas. This makes them an attractive target for thieves.

The chance of being targeted by thieves is relatively low, but becoming a victim of heating oil theft is a costly, inconvenient and upsetting experience.

Here are some basic precautions you can take to keep your heating oil secure.

  • Isolate power from the tank when not in use.
  • Put a control switch for the pump inside a farm office or workshop. This will ensure the thief can't just pump the stolen fuel straight into waiting drums.
  • Don't leave empty containers lying around near your fuel tank where an opportunistic thief might decide to help themselves.
  • Use close shackle padlocks. These offer the most resistance to bolt croppers.
  • Security lights can make property a much harder target for thieves. It's not always necessary to floodlight the area with high-power beams, as a more subtle level of lighting may be all that is needed to deter criminals. Low-energy dusk until dawn lights positioned close to the tank should, in most cases, provide sufficient light to illuminate any suspicious activity. This can be both effective and inexpensive.
  • Wireless fuel tank alarms can report back to your house or office. They can also be set up so you are alerted via text and mobile or landline message.
  • The position of the tank can have a significant effect on how hard a target is in the eyes of the thief. If the tank is close to a house, with one or more windows overlooking it, then the thief may consider that the chances of being seen are too high.
  • Fences and walls can make life difficult for fuel thieves. But make sure your tanker driver can also access the tank.

How do I protect my heating oil supply?

  • If you have a drive with gates keep them closed at all times, not just when away from the property
  • If the tank is near your house, consider fitting an alarm padlock which will alert you if anyone interferes with it
  • If you have a plastic tank the oil can be accessed by puncturing the tank wall, so try to make your oil tank less visible and more secure by putting a fence with a lockable gate around it. Use prickly plants or shrubs - otherwise known as defensive planting to disguise the fence and make the oil tank less visible to passing traffic.
  • There are many alarms on the market which monitor the oil level in tanks and will send an alert when the oil level drops dramatically, such as would happen if there were a leak or theft. If you don't invest in one of these, then regularly check your oil level so you are aware of how much you are using and can recognise if a theft has occurred.

Report it to us!

Remember always call us if you see anything suspicious.

In an emergency, when a crime is in progress, call 999.


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