Many homes rely on heating oil to keep their homes cosy and warm but as fuel prices continue to rise, could your heating oil tank fall victim to oil thieves?
In 2022, there has been a significant increase in heating oil thefts and local police encourage residents to be mindful of their home security.
Now more than ever, it is important to take as many steps as possible to ensure your tank isn’t an easy target. To help, we have ten steps that aim to prevent home heating oil theft.
How to prevent theft of home heating oil tanks
Heating oil is costly and may leave you venerable to thieves operating in your area. To ensure the safety of your home and to give you some peace of mind, here are ten steps to prevent oil theft.
Install oil tank locks
It’s not unusual for thieves to bring tools to help them gain access to your tank, so it is important you lock it up using a high-quality padlock or locking bar system.
Heating oil tank padlocks are widely available and be sure to check your chosen lock is suitable to sustain all weathers.
Although thieves are able to drill into your tank, a maximum-security lock is a visual security measure that indicates forward thinking and may deter the thief if they believe several other measures may be in place.
Install an oil tank alarm
Installing an oil tank alarm allows you to be alerted to any dips in your oil tank levels. An alarm can alert you from inside the home or on your phone when you are not home.
Thieves can steal thousands of pounds of heating oil quickly and discreetly so an alarm may not deter them as by the time the alarm sounds your tank could already be empty.
However, displaying a sign informing thieves that your heating oil tank is alarmed can be beneficial to prevent theft.
One of the best security measures to protect your heating oil levels is to install CCTV. CCTV will not only deter thieves but will also catch them in the act.
CCTV installation is a visual security measure that prevents oil theft by deterring thieves from targeting your home. Showing signs of proactive thinking and taking preventative measures makes it less likely for a robbery to take place on your property.
Protect your tank with fencing
Another great way to protect your heating oil tank is to install a fence around it. Although fences won’t necessarily disguise your oil tank, they can provide significant protection.
Steel and metal fences with a lockable access point ensure your oil tank are not on public display or accessible by opportunists in your area.
Keep your tank hidden
Thieves can use Google Maps and satellite images online to locate their heating oil tanks and pick their targets. However, with no oil tank on display, it would be increasingly difficult for thieves to know where it is located.
Ensuring your oil tank is hidden and can not be seen by passers-by is key to eliminating your tank as a potential target. Thieves often patrol areas in search of their target so the aim should be to make your tank as discreet as possible.
Keeping your tank away from gates, footpaths, and access points while making sure it is visible from the house is an effective way to deter thieves as they cannot access it easily or quickly without being caught.
Get a security light
Most thieves operate at night and steal heating oil when there is nobody around to catch them. Automatic security lights often startle thieves and draw attention to them.
Bright security lights will not only interrupt the thief in action, but they will also be bright enough to alert you inside so you can inform the police at the time of the crime.
Lay gravel around your tank
Thieves feel comfortable at night when it is quiet, and they are unlikely to be disturbed. Gravel is loud and will discourage thieves by creating mass amounts of noise.
The noise will deter the thief and alert you of trespassers on your property. It is also one of the most cost-effective, and easiest ways to secure your home.
Invest in a steel tank
Heating oil tanks are often green and plastic making them easy for thieves to access and identify. Although plastic models may be cheaper, they are also more appealing to operating thieves as they can be accessed quickly and easily with little force.
Steel tanks come in a range of shapes and sizes and offer much more security than their plastic counterpart. Made from steel, these tanks are sturdier and much harder to damage without making a lot of noise.
If you notice suspicious large vehicles in or around your street be sure to take down the details and pass them on to the police. It is always best to report suspicious activity just in case.
You can report any suspicious behaviour to your local police station via telephone or online.
Prickly bushes, spiky hedges, and thorny shrubs are natural deterrents that help to reduce crime. Thieves will be deterred from your home as prickly bushes could easily rip their clothing and lead the police to identify them.
Plant bushes, shrubs, and hedges around your heating oil tank for an effective and inexpensive security measure.
At NWF we have been heating homes across the UK since 1950 and are committed to providing domestic and business oil to customers.
If you are a domestic heating oil customer who has a storage tank, or if you are considering buying a property with oil heating, get in touch with us today for more information about heating oil tanks, tank maintenance, and how you can keep it safe.
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