Is Your Heating Oil Tank Secure?

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Is Your Heating Oil Tank Secure?


With the price of fuel rising, fuel has become a target for theft from homes and businesses. Here we look at a range of ideas to help make your tank secure.

  • Invest in making your tank secure

  • Location of your tank

  • A quality padlock

  • Camouflaging your tank

  • Oil level and tank alarms

  • Security lighting

  • Noisy Gravel

  • Walls and fencing

  • Defensive planting

  • Security cameras

Invest in making your tank secure

As the price of crude oil steadily rises, heating oil has become a target for criminals to steal and sell on, or use for their own purposes. We need to start thinking about our fuel like an expensive commodity.

Unfortunately, our heating oil tanks tend to be situated in the quiet, dimly lit, hidden areas of our property. We need to do all we can to change this. Investing a small amount of money on security today, may save you a small fortune in the future.

Location of your tank

The position and appearance of your tank plays a major part in the overall vulnerability. When heating oil tanks are initially installed, most people want them hidden away from view or far away from the property for fear of spillage. Unfortunately, from a security point of view this plays perfectly into the hands of thieves.

Ideally your tank should be fitted close to your property, away from public paths & roads, in a well-lit, visible area.

tank secure

A quality padlock

The old adage “You get what you pay for” in respect of security couldn’t be truer. Thieves will come equipped with tools to break into your property. The better quality the padlock, the less chance the thief will have to pop it off with bolt croppers. People who steal want to be in and out with as little fuss as possible. If we can slow them down or even prevent their activities, they will likely leave and not return.

We would recommend closed shackle padlocks.

Camouflaging your tank

Although your tank needs to be free from overhanging branches and foliage, we would recommend hiding it from the road with cleverly placed tall plants, trellis and screens. Thieves have been known to use Google Street View to look for vulnerable properties, check your property and see what a thief will see!

Remember your delivery driver will need access to your tank with a long, heavy hose.

Oil level and tank alarms

Remote tank monitors send a signal to your house or mobile (dependent on model) and will alert you to a sudden drop in oil levels (below quarter full).

Security lighting

This one is an easy (and relatively cheap) win to make your tank secure. Motion detector lights will alert you, neighbours and passers-by of movement in your garden. Solar powered lights are easy to install and obviously don’t cost anything to run!

Noisy gravel

As silly as it sounds, noisy gravel can be a deterrent to would be thieves. Consider a driveway or just the area around your tank to be covered with noisy gravel.

Walls and fencing

Consider a wooden or metal fence, or wall to give significant protection to the tank. Again, remember that your delivery driver will still need access and should your tank ever need replacing, there should be enough access for manoeuvring a new one.

Defensive planting

The approach to your tank can be protected by planting thorny shrubs and bushes.

Thieves don’t want to force their way through or over a prickly hedge, as the smallest trace of blood or shred of ripped clothing could help police identify them.

Remember to leave access for deliveries and inform your driver of any preventative measures you have taken.

The following plants can be considered as defensive:

· Pyracantha

· Berberis Julianae

· Mahonia Bealei – Winter Sun

· Ulex Europaeus – Common Gorse

· Hippanphae Rhamniodes – Sea Buckthorn

· Berberis Ottawensis Superba

· Berberis Stenophylla

· Berberis Gagnepainii

· Crataegus Monogyna – Common Hawthorn

· Rosa Fruhlings Gold-Yellow

· Rosa Rugosa Rubra Crimson

· Rosa Blanc Double de Coubert

Security cameras

The most common security measure taken today is the use of CCTV.

Consider a system that works well at night and covers all of your property around the oil tank.

Police will always ask if the area is covered by CCTV following a theft.

If you don’t want to install cameras around your property, a Ring Video Doorbell can cover large areas of garden outside your front door.

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