Becoming a victim of heating oil theft is a costly, inconvenient and upsetting experience, so securing your oil tank is the smart choice if you wish to protect yourself from being a victim of crime.
Spring into action this spring and ensure your home heating oil is protected by following Emo Oil’s tips on the top gadgets and measures needed to prevent oil theft.
- Oil tank cages
An oil tank cage is one of the best forms of security available as it creates an extra physical barrier for thieves although it is not suitable for everyone due to the amount of space they need.
It is essentially a security cage that fits around your tank and locks, preventing thieves from getting access to it, but can also be unlocked for deliveries and can be bolted or concreted to the ground.
- Security lighting
A motion-activated security light is a great way of detecting any late-night and unwanted callers. It is especially a great idea if the oil tank can be seen from your house as it will certainly surprise any trespassers and could warn you to their presence. Subtle cameras can also be installed around the oil tank so that you can see if anyone has attempted to steal your fuel.
Don’t install security lighting if your oil tank is out of sight as this will help, rather than hinder, a possible theft.
Installing a CCTV system is an effective way of letting thieves know that you are taking protective measures. Not only will CCTV cameras deter thieves, they will also provide valuable evidence for insurance claims and police reports should a theft occur.
When purchasing CCTV, there are important features to consider:
- Picture quality: better quality means that there’s a better chance of criminals being identified and caught.
- Night vision: Unless the area surrounding your tank is always well-lit, an infrared camera is recommended as thieves usually operate after dark.
- Memory: A high storage capacity could be beneficial in case older files are written over due to lack of memory.
Another lower-cost option is to install a fake CCTV camera. Although this won’t record any real footage, it could act as a deterrent.
- Tank alarms
Some electronic oil level gauges can be linked to an alarm installed inside your house. If the oil level drops suddenly, the alarm will sound and inform you of the theft or possible leak.
You can always display a ‘ tank is alarmed’ sticker to act as a double deterrent.
- Spinning tank cap
As many padlocks are often quite easy for thieves to break, using a pair of sturdy cutters, a spinning cap can prove invaluable.
This technology is cleverly designed so that when it is locked, it spins freely, making it virtually impossible to get off and thus a forced entry with a crowbar or similar tool is futile.
- External armlock and padlocks
These armlocks are designed in such a way as to make it very difficult for thieves to get access to either the inspection hole or the fill point in your tank. These locks are easy to fit and involve no drilling. However, they do, in most cases, need to be secured with a padlock.
It is worth investing in high-quality padlocks for your tank lock or cage. Ensure it is a round-shackled padlock, as these are more difficult to access with bolt cutters. Additionally, because the shackle is not spring-loaded, round padlocks will not unlock if the keyway barrel is drilled into.
- Plant wisely
If your tank needs to be located outside, make sure it has high fences or bushes around it so that it isn’t a prime target. Most would-be thieves don’t want to have to deal with barbed plants during a theft as not only are they painful, but they can increase the risk of being identified using traces of blood or clothing fibres.
Enjoy peace of mind in the knowledge that your oil is protected by ensuring you have taken the necessary steps to prevent oil theft in your home. Remember, the more you have in place, the less likely you are to be targeted.