Over one and a half million households in the UK rely on oil as their core fuel source for heating their homes. Oil fired boilers are becoming increasingly popular and are surprisingly common around London properties. But with the price of oil on the rise, unfortunately a new wave of crime has hit, namely fuel theft.

For this reason, if you have an oil tank in your garden, you should be taking various steps to safeguard your fuel. Let’s take a look at some simple measures you can employ to do just that.

Oil tank securityCheck your gauge

Your oil tank gauge will usually be located on the oil tank itself. It could be a manual float gauge, a dial meter, or a mechanical meter with a rotating counter. Keeping a close eye on your oil level is vital, as it can alert you to any sudden fall in oil level. This could indicate a theft. The more regularly you check your gauge, the easier it will be to pinpoint at what time any theft took place.

If you are particularly concerned about oil theft, perhaps because a neighbour has suffered the same, take photographs of your gauge at various intervals. These will act as time-stamped evidence of your oil levels at any given time.

Switch to an ultrasonic gauge

Ultrasonic smart oil meters monitor the volume of useable fuel remaining in your tank. As well as this, they offer the added benefit of displaying useful information such as your average fuel consumption, energy costs and carbon emissions via a digital display unit that’ conveniently plugged into a mains socket inside the home. In other words, you can keep a close eye on your oil levels, without having to go outside.

Ultrasonic oil tank gauges are a two-piece system. On the tank itself sits the tank top transmitter. This monitors the fuel level inside the tank. The other part of the gauge is a smart receiver unit which is connected wirelessly to the transmitter. This is the digital display part that plugs into your power socket inside the home. It will not only tell you how many days you have until the tank needs refilling, but it will also set off an alarm should a sudden drop in oil level occur. Of course this could be down to a leak, but it could also be a symptom of oil theft.

Secure your tank

There is a range of physical security measures you can employ to protect your oil tank and your valuable fuel inside it.

Your aim is to protect the filling point, the inspection hole and the vent. All of these are potential points that thieves may use to access your oil.

If possible, enclose your oil tank in a locked building, taking care to ensure adequate ventilation. Be sure to use high quality locks to secure the building. If you can see it from the house, fit sensor lights to alert you to any activity. If the building is out of sight, consider installing CCTV with motion activation. A system that alerts you via your smartphone whenever there is movement will keep you abreast of what is happening, wherever you are.

If it is not possible to enclose your tank, ensure your garden fences and boundaries are sufficiently secure to prevent access to the garden where the oil tank is located. Always lock any access gates when you are out and during the night. Check out our blog on how to secure back and side gates.

Again security lighting is a good idea, but only where the tank is located in sight of your house or a neighbour’s house. If the tank is in a secluded spot, lights will only serve to assist a thief. Instead install CCTV, remembering to include the necessary warning signage to make your installation legal.

If you can, reposition the tank so that it can be seen from the house, but not from the street.

Bespoke advice from your London security experts

If you could benefit from some helpful advice on securing your oil tank, why not talk to Barry Bros Security? We’ve been assisting homeowners and landlords with all aspects of home security for more than 60 years. Our security solutions are fully tailored and multi-layered for maximum effectiveness. Call into our London showroom, or get in touch for the advice you need. Fuel is a valuable commodity: make sure yours is protected.