Ordinarily, the summer months should be about using less heating oil, turning down the thermostat and enjoying the summer sunshine with your family. Unfortunately, just as we feel we can stock up on home heating oil for the winter months ahead, thieves can strike when you are away from home.
A situation like this can cost you and your family hundreds of pounds as well as stress and anxiety over whether it may happen again. Below we share advice on protecting your oil while away on holiday, giving you peace of mind all summer long.
- Keep Your Oil Tank Hidden
Many homeowners have little say as to where their oil tank is stored when they buy their home, but it is important to take time to evaluate where the tank is situated. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it clearly visible from a road or path outside your home?
- Is it beside an external gate?
- If you look at it through the eyes of a potential thief, could you gain access to the oil tank easily?
If your answer is yes to the questions above, you could consider concealing it from view with a fence or taller shrubs. Making your storage tank less visible and more difficult to access could make that opportunist thief think twice when targeting your home.
- Lock it! Alarm it!
When protecting your home heating oil against thieves, technology is the answer. The installation of sturdy locks on any caps or openings will act as a deterrent, as well as adding an extra layer of security against those looking to access your stored heating oil. There are a wide range of locks available to suit your needs, from tank locks with specialist locking bars to high-quality padlocks.
If you feel an extra layer of security is needed in addition to the locking devices, you could consider installing an alarm system. Some electronic oil level gauges come fitted with alarms which will alert you if your oil level drops suddenly.
- Does Your Insurance Cover It?
Many home owners are unaware that home insurance policies do not cover oil theft, any damage caused to your oil tank and any environmental clean-up that may be required if the thieves spill oil on the surrounding area.
When shopping around for home insurance, you should check which insurance companies provide such cover and whether it is something you should consider adding to your policy. If peace of mind is what you are looking for, then it could be worth discussing this when renewing your home insurance.
- Lights! Camera! Action!
As many homes are taking the decision to invest in home security systems, it may be worthwhile to also consider the security of your home heating oil. Installing home security lights is relatively inexpensive and will provide a deterrent to thieves who may strike at night, especially if your oil tank is located in a darkened corner of the garden.
For those who want more security, opting for a home CCTV system will act as the ultimate deterrent to all types of thief who may have their eyes on your home. The visible presence of cameras is enough in many cases but make sure to ask the engineer if they cover the area where you oil tank is situated.
- Natural Defences
Finally, natural defences can be the most cost effective and easiest to install when trying to combat thieves. As previously mentioned, you can plant tall shrubbery to hide the oil tank however, the type of shrub should also be considered. The use of prickly plants or bushes will make any thief think twice. Plants such as holly, hawthorn and blackthorn will make any potential thief re-evaluate their options, especially if it means getting injured in the process.
Other simple defences against opportunists include the use of gravel pathways as this will ensure any unwelcome visitors make as much noise as possible. Unusual, loud noises can also help alert neighbours; another factor which could make potential thieves think again.
At Emo Oil, we pride ourselves on giving you the best advice on all aspects of how to heat your home. Whether the thief is an opportunist or someone who has targeted your home, we believe if you follow the steps above, your home heating oil will be that bit safer while away on holiday this summer.