Avoiding heating oil theft

Heating oil theft – 5 tips to protect your tank

Back in the freezing winter of 2010, Norfolk was officially named England’s coldest place. It’s clear then why heating oil is so important to people in the region. However, with the price of oil greatly rising, especially in the high demand winter months, domestic heating oil thieves are going to greater lengths to get access to your supplies. Countryside villages with wide spread housing, such as Surlingham, are particular targets for thieves. With many tanks being able to hold hundreds of pounds worth of oil, it is important to invest in protecting your tank. Make sure you don’t make it easy for thieves this year by following five simple rules:


Many thieves are opportunists so where you place your tanks will be an important factor in whether they consider it a target. For delivery reasons, you will want your tank to be easily accessible. However, try to keep it as far from the road as you can. Not only will it be less visible but to a thief trying to make a quick getaway, the thought of lugging your tank 200m up the road to their vehicle won’t sound particularly appealing. You should also remove or store any empty oil drums or external fuel lines so as not to draw attention to the presence of oil.


Invest in a good quality tank lock. A pair of bolt cutters can easily cut through the average lock but flat tank locks should prove a much harder contender. Many people also plant defensive shrubbery around their tanks to deter thieves. Noone likes having to battle through thorny shrubs. However, make sure that there is a path for your suppliers to reach the tank and that the shrubs don’t obscure your view of it.


It should be no secret that thieves like to operate away from prying eyes. Try placing the tank somewhere near a window so you can keep an eye on it easily. Thieves may consider it too big a risk if they can be easily scouted out. Although you can’t monitor your tank at all times, you can install motion sensitive lights that will act as an effective deterrent from anyone approaching your tank.


If thieves do succeed in gaining access to your oil, there is still a number of procedures that can be put in place to ensure that they won’t get away with it. Alarm systems have been designed to fit to storage tanks and alert you if your oil level is getting critically low or drops dramatically. Also, consider installing some CCTV. Cameras can be bought for relatively cheap these days and not only could you be lucky and catch thieves in the act, but you stand a much greater chance of identifying them afterwards.


If all else fails and your oil is stolen, you might still be financially protected. Make sure in advance that your insurance policy covers thefts and if it does, take care of any conditions specified by the company about the security of your premises.

Hopefully, if you follow these tips, your tank will be more secure this year so you can enjoy the winter months in comfort. For any further tips click here. You can also take a look at the OFTEC website for more information.

Information received from Heatingoil.co.uk