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Theft of domestic heating oil and diesel fuel has been a problem for many years and when crude oil prices rise, there is definitely an increase in this type of crime. A rise in the price of fuel at the petrol pump inevitably leads to a rise in the cost of heating oil. This makes oil a more attractive for the thief's, which results to actively targeting fuel tanks at farms, transport depots and domestic properties. The thief may be using the oil for their own central heating or selling it on for a high profit. These tanks can contain many thousands of pounds worth of oil. Therefore it makes good sense to take a few precautions to protect them.
Here a few tips what can be done to make life more difficult for the thieves.
• Check your oil gauges: Regularly to alert you to any potential thefts and help investigations by narrowing crime times down. Many tanks can be fitted with a gauge to monitor levels which can be read inside the house. We also offer the tank alarm which will alert you when oil levels drop dramatically check our website for more tank security products.
• Invest in a good quality tank lock: Closed shackle padlocks are recommended as they offer better resistance to bolt croppers and other tools, also locking caps without paddles work well to avoid bolt croppers that thieves usually come equipped with.
• Have your tank installed in a well overlooked position: This will ensure thieves are more likely to be seen. If your tank is close to your house make sure that it can be seen from your windows, this with some lights will make it less of a target. Our assessors at Southern tank Services Ltd can always advise you on-site what the best position for your tank is, we can either move the current oil tank or install a new tank in a secure position.
• Security lights: Can help deter potential thieves. Low level 'dusk till dawn" lights or automated garden lights positioned close to the tank should, in most cases, provide sufficient light to illuminate any suspicious activity.
• Enclosing your tank in a building: Which can be secured is better. However there are many building regulations to comply with, advice should be sought here at Southern Tank Services we are happy to offer you a free assessment and additional safety information on site.
• Lock your gate: If you have a gate, keep it closed and locked when you are out.
• Perimeter fence: Make sure your perimeter fence is in good condition and is not easy to climb.
• Plant some defensive plants: Around the oil tank, the thieves wouldn't want to gain access to your tank when there is a prickly hedge. The smallest trace of blood or ripped clothes could help the police help identify the offender. When planting your shrubs or prickly hedges please do bear in mind that you will need to allow a safe access for the tanker driver when delivering your oil, you do not want them to fall over and hurt themselves whilst pumping the oil in.
• You can place a fence around the tank: As fences and walls can also make it difficult for the thief. A wooden or metal fence, trellis or wall can give you significant protection to the tank however do remember there are building regulations to comply with and that you will need to leave safe access for the oil tank driver when delivering your oil.
• Install CCTV: The use of CCTV as a crime prevention and a crime detection tool has grown massively in recent years.
If you notice any strange activity in your area please do contact the police or your local neighbourhood watch as thieves will always investigate the property and tanks beforehand so it might be helpful to get extra police patrol sorted.
For more information on tank security or to book an assessment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01722 714514