Home heating oil tanks have the capacity to store thousands of pounds of heating oil, and they can often be located in remote areas – this can make them look like attractive targets to thieves. Thankfully, the risk of being targeted by thieves is relatively low, but on the off chance; becoming a victim of heating oil theft is a thoroughly upsetting and costly experience. Heating oil Shropshire are always on hand to help with all your heating oil needs over the colder months. Here are some tips on how to protect your tank from thieves, and what to do if you do become a victim.
How Heating Oil is Stolen
In order for thieves to steal heating oil, they will usually decant, pump or syphon oil from your oil tank into other containers. The thieves might use your oil for themselves or they may sell it on.
Opportunistic thieves might target tanks that they’ve been lucky enough to spot on their travels, whereas the more organised criminals have been known to use freely available tools such as Google Maps to identify rural homes with oil tanks in their gardens or on the property.
Police data has shown that heating oil theft is more commonly occurring in the first three months of the year when the tanks are more likely to be full and the days are shorter – giving the cover of darkness. However, thefts can happen at any time through the year, so it does pay to remain vigilant.
Oil Tank Insurance
Unfortunately, it’s not just the potential loss of heating oil that can put you out of pocket after a theft. The criminals might damage the tank or the pipes whilst they’re stealing the oil. They might even have damaged any of your security measures such as; CCTV cameras, fencing or tank locks. Plus, if there has been an oil spill during the theft, you might have to pay for the expensive but necessary environmental clean-up, which could result in a large bill.
Many homeowners with oil tanks don’t realise that the vast majority of home insurance policies don’t extend and cover damage or theft of their heating oil tanks or heating oil. It is strongly recommended that you take out insurance for your oil tank and its contents.
Securing Your Heating Oil Tank
There are various security measures that can be put in place that can help to deter and even catch criminals. The more that you have in place, the less likely your home is to be targeted – thieves like to go for the easy targets instead of one with lots of security obstacles.
- Oil Tank Cages
This is possibly not a suitable option for everyone due to the amount of space that they take up, but they are perhaps the best form of security available – an oil tank cage creates an extra physical barrier for thieves. The tank should fully enclose your tank while still leaving enough room for maintenance and deliveries, and be bolted or concreted to the ground.
- Hiding Your Heating Oil Tank
Many heating oil thefts happen thanks to opportunistic thieves spotting your tank whilst scoping out the neighbourhood. If your heating oil tank is exposed, it’s a good idea to conceal it with a fence, trellis or plants. Make sure you leave enough room for the required tank maintenance, servicing and oil deliveries. If possible, install a roof over your tank – this will prevent thieves from spotting it on satellite images and targeting your home. Heating oil Shropshire can advise clients on tank safety measures and can also provide new tanks.