We protect our homes, our cars and our personal possessions because we know that if someone stole them it would be upsetting and inconvenient, and when it comes to home heating oil the end results are just the same. Protecting your home against oil tank theft is more of a concern at this time of year, when most homeowners in Ireland have topped up their tanks to see them through the next couple of cold months, making it an ideal opportunity for thieves to strike.
To reduce the risk of falling victim to this crime yourself, here are some tips on keeping your home heating oil safe from fuel thieves this winter, whether you live in a rural spot, on a farm or in a busy neighbourhood.
The first stage to keeping your home heating oil safe from fuel thieves is to add a sturdy tank padlock. Often, this is enough of a deterrent to a thief, however the only thing you need to remember is to remove it before you have an oil delivery. Tank locks aren’t expensive, so this is very economical way to protect your heating investment.
If you want to be alerted when your oil tank levels drop significantly within a short period of time (a sure sign of theft), then a tank alarm is exactly what you need. By monitoring your oil levels continuously and alerting you when these fall, you can know exactly when the theft has occurred, instead of finding out when it’s too late.
Secure your garden
Don’t make it easy for thieves to access your property and get to your oil tank when you’re not at home. Keep exterior gates solid, in a good state of repair and locked to protect your garden and its contents from unwanted visitors.
Add outside motion sensor lighting
If you don’t have pets, then you might want to consider motion sensor lighting to your property exterior. This will alert you when there is someone walking around in the garden, and allow you to take action promptly. Discreet outdoor cameras can also be mounted around the oil tank so that you can see clearly if anyone has made an attempt to steal your fuel.
Try to camouflage your tank
Make your oil tank harder to see with some trellising in front of it, which you can grow plants up to hide the tank behind it. Just don’t let trees or shrubs around your tank become too overgrown as this can be dangerous, and make it harder for our delivery drivers to fill your tank.
Get some gravel
A gravel path around your oil tank will be noisy and alert you to someone walking around your property when they shouldn’t be. Often, like with the tank lock, once a would-be thief sees this it will be enough of a deterrent.
Be vigilant & report the crime
If you see something suspicious, be sure to report it. While fuel theft is more common in rural areas and on farms, it pays to be observant even in a built up domestic area.