Secure Your Valuable Fuels from Thieves with Our Fuel Theft Guide
Fuel is a valuable commodity and when stored locally, it can be an enticing target for thieves. Fuels such as red diesel, kerosene, DERV and their storage tanks can be expensive to replace and fuel theft can leave you not only out of pocket but also cold this winter. Especially if your heating oil is the target, as you’ll have no way to heat your home.
With the dark nights descending on us, this opens up an opportunity for thieves due to longer extended periods of darkness which make it more able to successfully steal fuel. Therefore, it’s hugely important to implement security measures to protect your bloodline. Follow our 6 easy steps and you can rest assured your fuel’s safe all year round.
6 Steps to securing your storage tanks from fuel theft
Here at Nationwide Fuels, we’ve been helping domestic customers and businesses just like yours with all of your fuels and lubricants requirements. Over the years, we’ve built up enviable product knowledge and a level of service which is second to none.
It’s an unfortunate fact, that in this day and age, homes and businesses across the UK are often targeted for their highly prized and valuable fuels and lubricants stored on their premises.
There are numerous ways you can protect yourselves from becoming victims of crime. We’ve put together the infographic below and given further guidance below on ways you can protect your property and hopefully help to prevent yourselves or your businesses from becoming a victim of fuel theft.
1. Use high quality and strong padlocks
There are many things you can do in and around your property to prevent thieves from accessing your storage tank. But once they have access to the tank itself. It really does all come down to how easy you make it for them to access.
A high quality strong and weather-resistant padlock should do enough to put off most casual thieves from trying to access your fuel. So, don’t skimp on this as it is literally going to be your last line of defence in most cases.
For the more determined thieves who come well prepared with tools. The difference between a cheap padlock and a high-quality one could see them quickly accessing your fuel or becoming frustrated by the additional effort required to remove the padlock and giving up.
2. Install a perimeter alarm and/or tank alarm
If you are able to install a perimeter alarm on your property, this could alert you to any possible activity in and around your storage tank. However, sometimes these aren’t ideal if they are set too sensitively and set off by animals frequently accessing your property.
If you plan to use some form of security cage or gates to prevent vehicle access around your storage tank. These could also be connected to an alarm system and triggered if anybody opens them out of hours.
As well as fuel theft, something else to bear in mind when storing fuels and lubricants on your property is a loss due to a leak. Installing a tank alarm will not only alert you to thieves stealing your fuels.
But it will also mitigate the chances of a small (or even major) leak over a period of a few hours becoming a more severe environmental issue for you or your business by alerting you to any changes in the storage tank levels.
3. Install motion-activated lights
During the winter months, the nights get darker earlier and for longer making it an ideal time for many thieves to strike.
If your property is located near to a populated road or area, installing motion-activated lights in and around your storage tank and other areas around your property will put off many opportunistic thieves.
4. Install a strong and secure fuel storage tank
When your choice of a storage tank is solely based on price, this will limit the type and quality of tank you opt to install on your property. In the short term, this may be seen as a sensible idea to cut down on your costs.
But when you factor in the potential costs involved to your business from the loss of fuel. Not only due to the money spent on the fuel, but also from the impact this may have on your business to operate normally.
Indeed, even if the storage tank is located on a domestic property. Not having enough heating oil available after a theft would likely result in you having to order an emergency delivery during the colder, winter months.
So, to alleviate these concerns, buying and installing a better-quality storage tank could actually help to save you money in the long term by limiting the potential loss through accidents and leaks, as well as through fuel theft from thieves targeting your fuels.
5. Protect access to your storage tank with a cage
In most cases, the best way to stop thieves from accessing your storage tank is to restrict access to it in the first place. The more obstacles you put in place and the more difficult you make it to access and steal your fuel, the more likely it is that you will not become victim to fuel theft.
By installing high fencing around your fuel tank or a full cage over your fuel tank. You will make it far more difficult for thieves to access the tank itself. Of course, you should bear in mind that the weakest part of any fencing or cage is always going to be the access gate(s). So, you should always ensure you use a heavy-duty padlock to secure it.
Although in most cases, a metal cage or high fence should block access to most intruders. They can be quite costly to install and for some people or businesses, they can look unsightly. So may choose to seek other measures.
Considering most thefts will likely happen under the cover of night, another option could well be planting “defensive” bushes and hedges in and around your fuel storage tank will help to make things more difficult for any opportunistic thieve planning on stealing your fuels.
6. Monitor access to your storage tank 24/7 with CCTV
Even if you put into action all of the previous suggestions, they will often only stop all but the most determined thieves. So, in this day and age, it’s almost expected by the Police these days that businesses and even homeowners monitor their high-value assets on their land with CCTV.
Although it’s unlikely to prevent your fuel from being stolen on its own, it could help to highlight any weaknesses in your defences if thieves were unsuccessful or hopefully a successful prosecution of those individuals who carried out the theft of your valuable fuel supplies were successful.
Fuels Losses aren’t always due to fuel theft…
We’ve outlined numerous ways to help protect your fuel from theft from thieves, but that’s only one way that many businesses lose fuel each and every year.
Two other reasons for a loss of fuel, the first being due to poorly maintained equipment which could allow fuel to leak from your storage tank(s) or other equipment. This will not only have a financial impact on your business from losing the fuel through spillages and leaks. But also from the cost of the environmental clean up required.
The second reason that your business could suffer from fuel losses is because of a poorly maintained storage tank which has allowed your valuable stored fuels to become contaminated. Poorly stored and maintained fuels can also potentially cause issues for any equipment which are run on these fuels. So it’s vital that you keep your storage tank and any fuels stored within them in tip-top condition.
If you’d like to talk to our specialist team about your current fuel storage tank and how to ensure your fuel is kept in good condition. Or about replacing your or installing a new oil storage tank. Give our knowledgeable team of fuel experts a call today on 0330 678 0880.