An ongoing concern for many homeowners is to prevent home heating oil theft. As one of Cork’s leading home heating oil suppliers, we know that home heating oil theft can happen at any time of year. During the winter months, darkness falls earlier in the evening so thieves have more opportunity to strike. As well as this, oil tanks tend to be filled to the brim at a time when usage is higher. In the summer, homeowners often take vacations leaving their property and home heating oil tank vulnerable to theft. With over 30 years experience of supplying home heating oil to homes across Cork, we would like to highlight the importance of taking all precautions to prevent fuel theft. Here is a list of the Top Ten Tips to prevent home heating oil theft.
1. CONSIDER THE POSITION OF THE TANK
If you are fitting a new home heating oil tank then the position is an important factor to consider from a security point of view. Make sure the tank is not visible from the road and if possible, position it as close to the house as regulations allow and ideally in view of at least one if not two windows. Thieves use Google Maps to find satellite images of home heating oil tanks and target homes. If your tank is already in situ, then consider building a roof or wall around it to prevent it being identified as a tank. You should still adhere to fire safety regulations and also allow enough space for delivery and maintenance access.
2. FIT AN OIL TANK CAGE AROUND YOUR HOME HEATING OIL TANK
Oil tank cages are one of the best ways to deter oil thieves as they provide another level of protection they have to get through. They are essentially security cages that fit perfectly around your oil tank and can be locked and unlocked for deliveries. They are either bolted to the ground or concreted into place. Oil tank cages do take up extra space however, so they might not be an option for every tank. An Oil tank cage can also help to protect your oil tank from being damaged at times of high storms. You may be interested in reading our Guide to Looking After Your Home Heating Tank in the Winter.
3. MONITOR YOUR OIL LEVELS.
Although this won’t prevent home heating oil theft, this is a good practice to alert you to oil theft. If you have the time, you could conduct a daily audit of your tank level and consumption. Not only will this help you forecast your usage each month, you can identify a sudden drop in oil levels. Often thieves will return to a tank and take more if they have gone undetected the first time. There are many types of fuel gauges available from a simple sight gauge, or a floating gauge, however the most efficient one is a digital monitoring system. You can check out our blog on Tips for Checking Your Home Heating Oil Levels here.
4. FIT A TANK ALARM TO YOUR HOME HEATING OIL TANK
Following on from the previous point, you can install a tank alarm that is linked to a digital monitoring system. An Electronic oil level gauge will alert you to a sudden drop in your oil tank levels either in your house or on your mobile device. Putting a ‘Tank is Alarmed’ sticker on the side of your tank should also act as a deterrent to oil thieves.
5. INVEST IN GOOD SECURITY LIGHTING
Most thieves will use the cover of darkness to escape with your oil. If your home heating oil tank can be seen from your house, then it is a good idea to install a motioned activated security light. This will alert you to any trespassers in your garden as well giving them a good fright. However if your home heating oil tank is positioned well out of sight from your home, then installing security lighting may have the opposite effect and make it easier for thieves to carry out their task.
6. INSTALL CCTV CAMERAS
Even the presence of CCTV cameras around your property should deter any potential oil thieves. These cameras can record number plates of any cars or vans entering your driveway and they can also provide evidence for insurance claims and police reports. Make sure when installing CCTV cameras that you consider the picture quality, night vision options and plenty of memory space. You can also install motion activated cameras that start recording the moment any motion is detected.
7. ADD A SPINNING TANK CAP TO YOUR OIL TANK
Ordinary padlocks are quite easy for thieves to break using simple cutters. A Spinning Tank cap is a clever yet simple piece of technology that you can put on to your oil tank. When the spinning cap is locked, it spins freely making it impossible to remove. As one of Cork’s leading home heating oil suppliers, we would be happy to advise on whether a spinning tank cap is suitable for your home heating oil tank.
8. USE AN ARMLOCK TO PREVENT HOME HEATING OIL THEFT
Armlocks are designed to prevent access to the entry points on your oil tank. They are very easy to fit, no drilling involved and they need to be secured with a high quality padlock. When choosing a padlock, a round shackled padlock is more difficult for thieves to cut through. Try to ensure that you choose an All-Weather padlock that won’t rust over time.
9. PUT GRAVEL AROUND YOUR TANK.
This may seem like a simple detail however an effective one. You can discourage thieves scattering gravel in the area around your home heating oil tank. By making the area noisy, you will be alerted to a trespasser in your garden or yard and this may deter thieves before they do any damage to your tank.
10. INSTALL HIGH FENCES AND DEFENSIVE PLANTS.
Fitting high fences around your home heating oil tank is good way of keeping your oil tank hidden from sight. Another option is defensive planting which is nature’s way of preventing crime. You need to make it as difficult as possible for thieves to access your tank. Oil thieves will not want force their way through prickly bushes. As well as this they will not want to risk leaving clothing fibres or blood at the scene of the crime. Planting trees and hedging can also help to make your home heating oil tank less visible to passing traffic.
LET US HELP YOU PREVENT HOME HEATING OIL THEFT
If you need an emergency top up of oil following an oil theft, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 022 4222011 and we can advise you on further security measures to protect your oil tank. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a refill of home heating oil. Unsure of which fuel to choose? Check out the full range of fuels available on our website www.cityoil.ie or you may want to have a look at our parent company www.tria.ie We are one of Cork’s leading Home Heating Oil Suppliers with over 30 years of experience and happy to manage your home heating needs.