The cost of heating oil has increased significantly recently, resulting in the theft of heating oil from both domestic and commercial properties raising.
The first indication that a theft has taken place is often when the heating stops working. Usually, it’s assumed the boiler is at fault, but regrettably the problem is often that there’s no oil left. Thefts vary from small amounts being stolen to the whole tank being drained. The methods used by the thieves can be very crude, including drilling or punching holes in the side of the tank and then filling jerry cans.
What you can do to prevent losses:
- Monitor the level of oil in your tank regularly.
- Conceal the location of the tank by using hedging, fencing or walling.
- Securely lock doors at all times if the tank is situated within a building.
- Consider installing security lighting to cover the tank, if it is overlooked by nearby buildings.
- Ask nearby residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.
- Padlock the valve. This may not always be the correct course of action, as thieves may smash the valve completely, but it can deter a less determined thief.
- Ensure any gates are locked at night, to make it more difficult for a thief to escape with oil.
- Install an alarm device which creates an alert if the oil level suddenly drops or if the lock is attacked.
- Consider closed circuit television.