Protecting your home heating oil this summer
Fuel theft is unfortunately a very real crime in Northern Ireland, and although it does tend to be more common in rural areas, anyone can be a victim. It pays to be vigilant about such matters, and as they say, prevention is better than cure – so we would advise you to take a few simple steps which will help protect your home heating oil this summer.
- Install a tank lock
Oil tank padlocks are relatively easy to come by, and don’t have to cost much in order to be effective. Even seeing a lock on a tank is enough to put a fuel thief off, as they don’t want to risk being caught. The only thing you need to remember here is that if you have planned for a delivery of home heating oil, you need to remove it prior otherwise your driver won’t be able to access your tank.
- Fit a fuel gauge to monitor oil tank levels
Most people use oil tank monitors to let them know when they are running low on fuel so they can order more before they totally run out. It’s also a good way to alert you if your fuel levels drop suddenly – which can be a sign of either a leak or a theft (so good to be informed either way!)
- Make your oil tank less accessible with defensive planting
Planting some prickly bushes around your oil tank will be a huge deterrent to potential fuel thieves, as they are more likely to get caught, scratched or leave clothing snagged in the thorns. It’s an easy way to protect your home heating oil this summer, and it also gives you something nicer to look at in the garden.
- Lock your garden gates
This might sound obvious, but make sure your garden gates around your property are locked at all times. In the summer it can be harder to keep an eye on this – you might have the kids running around the garden playing, or taking the lawnmower in and out to keep on top of gardening chores. Just make sure you always secure your property.
- Security lighting on motion sensor
Outside security lights are a great way to keep your home more secure – especially if they are triggered by someone walking near them.
- Gravel path around your oil tank
A crunchy gravel noise is a dead giveaway that someone is walking near your oil tank, and if you know they shouldn’t be there it’s also a great alert system to help protect your home heating oil from being stolen.
- Tell your neighbours if you’re going away
Keep an eye on your neighbour’s property when they go away and hopefully they’ll do the same for you. Making sure that you’re aware of any fuel theft in the local area will also encourage you to be more vigilant and look out for suspicious activity.