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Latest theft report

Theft date: 13 Sep 2015
Postcode area: YO60

Oil Tank Security

Although it is impossible to predict whether you will be the victim of heating oil theft, there are a number of simple steps that you can take to protect your oil tank. Some of these safety protocols are easy to implement, while others require a bit more planning and expense, however, even the simplest safety measures can help to reduce the risk of theft.

Check out our top tips for advice on how to improve your tank security today.    

Top 15 Oil Tank Security Tips

  1. Out of Sight: If installing a new tank, you should consider the placement very carefully. Ideally, your tank should not be visible from the road outside your home and should not be placed near any external gates or doors. If possible, install your tank in an area that can easily be seen from your home, so you can keep an eye on it.

  2. Add Protection: Fit a sturdy lock to the fill cap of your tank (and also the vent cap, if possible), and consider installing a security cage or protective casing to your tank and any exposed pipes. Ideally, any casing should be locked with a shackle padlock, which can’t be easily broken with bolt croppers.

  3. Security Lights: Install a movement-sensing security light to alert you to any late-night visitors. A set of strong flood lights would also make a thief think twice about targeting your tank.

  4. CCTV: The cost of CCTV systems has dropped over the past few years, making basic packages more affordable. If you decide to install a system, you should also place a ‘CCTV’ sign on your gate to let any potential thieves know that you are taking measures to protect your heating oil.

  5. Use Signs: A much cheaper alternative to CCTV is to place a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign on your garden gate. Thieves tend to avoid houses that have dogs, as they may bark and attract attention during a theft.

  6. Lock It Down: Generally, you should always make sure that any access points to your garden (such as gates, doors or garages) are securely locked when not in use.

  7. Fix Your Fences: If there is a hole in your fence, thieves may be able to gain access through it. Make sure that all of your fences are in good condition and replace any low fences with higher versions, to prevent your tank from being seen by passers-by. You should also avoid placing wheelie bins by your fence, as thieves may use these to climb into your garden.

  8. Neighbourhood Watch: If you are going on holiday, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your oil tank and report any suspicious activity.

  9. Defensive Planting: If you have a green thumb, try planting prickly plants such as rose bushes, junipers and holly around your tank. These make a great defence mechanism as thieves generally avoid things that may catch on their skin or clothing and leave forensic evidence.

  10. Toughen Up: If you are installing a new tank, you should consider purchasing a steel one, as these are harder for thieves to access.

  11. Turn It Off: When your tank is not in use (i.e. during summer or when you are away) turn off your boiler and secure any control switches, as this will make it harder for thieves to get oil out of the tank.

  12. Monitor Your Tank: If you have a good idea of how much heating oil you have and how much heating oil you tend to use, it will be easier to tell if there is a sudden drop in levels.

  13. Install an Alarm: Fit an audible tank alarm which will let you know if your oil levels drop suddenly due to a theft or leak.

  14. Add Insurance: As with any valuable item, you should check that your heating oil supply and tank are covered by your home insurance.

  15. Stay Informed: Keep an eye out for thefts in your area and increase your security measures accordingly. When you sign up to our nationwide oil theft alerts, you will receive an email bulletin every time a theft is reported in your area.

Remember, if you are targeted by thieves you should alert the police immediately and report the theft, so that other oil users in your area are aware of the threat. If you witness a theft in progress, never attempt to approach the thief.