It happens every winter, and it could happen to you. Thieves sneak onto your property and steal the oil right out of your tank, unbeknownst to you. The good ones can do it so quickly and quietly that you may not know you have been a victim of theft until you go to turn on your boiler and nothing happens. Thankfully, there are several heating oil theft prevention tips for heating oil tank security. Following these tips helps ensure the safety of your oil so that you can stay warm and toasty all season long.
To prevent theft, you may want to invest in a tank lock. It is a pretty simple solution, but it does work in a lot of cases. It already takes time to siphon off the oil, most thieves want to spend as little time on your property as possible so they don’t get caught. Having to break a lock increases the chances they’ll get caught, so this could deter them from trying to steal from you. Similarly, building or installing a cage around the tank can also deter them, as having to break through the bars will be noisy and increase the chance they go to jail.
Many criminals will drive through neighborhoods looking for tanks that are an easy target, so if yours is easily seen from the street, you may become a victim. Hide your unit from plain view by relocating it if you can. The best place to relocate is to take it inside. There are laws regarding placement in a home, such as the need for secondary containment and ventilation to the outside.
If you are still iffy about moving the tank indoors for safety reasons, consider burying it underground. This is risky though, because it is harder to see damage or leaks, and this could lead to costly environmental cleanup fees if it does leak without your knowledge. You could also try putting up hedges or planting trees in front of it to hide it from plain sight.
You may also want to consider installing lights around the tank to deter theft. Motion sensors work really well, as no criminal wants bright lights flashing on them, as this could alert you or the neighbors to what they are up to.
Cameras are also a good idea. CCTV lets you record any movement on your grounds, which can help the police find the thieves should your unit get drained. It can also be used in a court of law to ensure the accused get a strict penalty.
If your unit is made of plastic, consider getting one made of metal instead. Plastic is really easy to drill a hole through without making much noise. On the other hand, steel is noisy and will require longer to break though, which is a nice deterrent.
Look at the terrain around the area and make it noisy to get to. If the area is just grass or dirt, then that allows crooks to sneak around quietly. Instead, consider placing gravel, which is relatively inexpensive compared to oil and is very noisy when walked upon.