Heating and domestic oil theft

The theft of heating and diesel oil always tends to increase during the winter when people tend to store up more fuel, and also whenever there’s prices rises at the petrol pump, which has a knock effect on the cost of heating oil. This can make fuel tanks at farms, transport depots and domestic properties lucrative targets.

There are a number of steps residents in rural areas can take to keep their oil supply safe.  Heating oil tanks can contain thousands of pounds worth of oil, so it makes sense to take all possible measures to protect them.

These are a few things you can do to make your tank or supply more secure:

  • Control switches – control the flow of oil and should be turned off and the electricity supply isolated when the tank is not in use.
  • Padlocks – it’s worth spending a little more on good quality locks, such as close shackle padlocks which offer most resistance to the most common burglar tools like bolt croppers.
  • Oil level gauges – remote gauges are now available which will sound an alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full and can be located anywhere in adjacent buildings. There are different versions available costing between £70 and £100.
  • Security lights – can make any property a much harder target for the thief. Low energy ‘dusk ‘til dawn’ lights positioned close to the tank are cheap and an effective deterrent.  High powered lights can be used but care should be taken not to cause any nuisance to neighbours or road users.

For more information and advice on securing your oil tank download our Domestic and heating oil advice leaflet (pdf 1mb).

Thanks to Hertfordshire Constabulary for this information

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