Heating oil tanks have the potential to store thousands of pounds worth of heating oil, and they are often located in remote areas – these factors coupled together can make them a very attractive target for thieves. The chances of being targeted by thieves is relatively low, but becoming a victim of heating oil theft is a very costly, inconvenient and a thoroughly upsetting experience.
Heating oil Shropshire can provide you with advice on how to minimise the risks of being targeted by would-be thieves, here are some useful tips to help protect your home from heating oil theft.
How is Heating Oil Stolen?
In order for thieves to get their hands on your heating oil, they will usually decant, syphon or pump oil from your tank into other containers. The thieves might use the oil for themselves, or sell it on.
Opportunistic thieves might specifically target tanks that they spot whilst out and about, whereas the more organised criminals use tools such as Google Maps to identify homes with oil tanks in their gardens. Another tactic used by the would-be thieves is following oil delivery vehicles in order to identify homes which will have full tanks.
Data has shown that heating oil theft is more prevalent in the first three months of the year when the tanks are more likely to be full and the days are shorter – providing the cover of darkness for the thieves to use. However, thefts can occur at any point during the year, so it does pay to be vigilant at all times.
How to choose the right heating oil tank?
When it comes to the security of your heating oil tank, steel tanks offer a much more robust storage solution when compared to their plastic counterparts. This is due to plastic tanks being much easier to drill into in order to syphon off oil. Steel tanks are also a lot heavier, and are therefore more difficult to remove from your premises.
Where should you locate your heating oil tank?
When you are choosing where to install your heating oil tank, you need to find a good balance between convenience, aesthetics and security whilst also ensuring that you are meeting with all applicable regulations. Heating fuel Shropshire can supply a wide range of tanks that are suitable for a variety of needs and requirements.
Installing your heating oil tank indoors
This is probably the most secure place to locate your heating oil tank; not only does it make it more difficult to access the tank, it also means that thieves are unlikely to know that you even have a tank on your property.
Placing your tank in a shed, garage or outbuilding has the added benefit of protecting the oil from low temperatures, this means that your heating oil can burn more efficiently.
Installing your heating oil tank underground
If indoors isn’t a viable option, consider locating your fuel tank underground instead. Again, this limits the accessibility and visibility of the tank. Also, due to the much higher risk of contamination and pollution, there are strict compliances that must be followed when installing a tank underground.
Installing your heating oil tank above ground, outdoors
Most heating oil tanks are stored above ground outdoors, to maximise security in this instance; your tank should be placed as far away from the road as possible – you don’t want to advertise your tank to opportunistic thieves driving by, nor do you want to facilitate a quick getaway.
Ideally, your heating oil tank should be visible from inside your home. The possibility of being spotted is a huge deterrent for thieves.
How to secure your heating oil tank?
There are a number of security measures that will help to deter criminals and could help to catch them if the worst was to happen.
- Oil tank cages
- Hiding your heating oil tank
- Security lighting
- CCTV system
- Gravel pathways
- Defensive planting
- Tank locks/padlocks
- Tank alarms