How to prevent heating oil theft

Don’t let fuel thieves leave you in the cold

Theft of heating oil and diesel has been a problem for many years, and whilst reported instances of fuel thefts are slowly rising, there are simple steps you can take to increase your tank security and reduce the risk of theft. Oil is not easy for thieves to steal; it’s difficult to handle, difficult to store and diffic

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How to prevent heating oil theft

Don’t let fuel thieves leave you in the cold

Theft of heating oil and diesel has been a problem for many years, and whilst reported instances of fuel thefts are slowly rising, there are simple steps you can take to increase your tank security and reduce the risk of theft. Oil is not easy for thieves to steal; it’s difficult to handle, difficult to store and difficult to sell on. However, evidence suggests that thieves are watching fuel depots and following their wagons until they find houses to target.

Northern Energy wants to assure all our customers that our drivers have been fully briefed to be cautious, both when on the road and when making deliveries. Any suspicious vehicles will be reported to the police.

burglar stolen steal

The fitting of specialist locking caps or padlocks can deter thieves. However, they have been known to smash valves, drill holes into the tank and even cut the fuel line resulting in oil spills and pollution, not to mention a costly new tank!  Where possible, fitting hardened flexible casings to any vulnerable fuel hoses will make them harder to cut.

Simple steps to take care of your tank and fuel:

  • Make sure your oil tank is hidden from the road – fences, trellising, trees or hedging can be used to disguise the tank, although remember your delivery driver will need to be able to gain access to your tank.
  • Security lighting offers great protection at night – not only can this warn you of an intruder, but also alert neighbours or passing patrols.
  • Consider installing a CCTV system – placing a visible camera on your property with a sign to highlight it may act as a deterrent.
  • If you have a drive with gates, keeping them closed and locked may also discourage a break in. Ensure all gates and fences are kept in good repair.
  • Secure your tank with good quality close shackle padlocks as these offer the most protection from the thieves’ favourite tool – the bolt cropper.
  • Remove and secure any tools or ladders which could be used as an aide to commit crime.
  • Remote electronic oil level gauges are now available which will emit an audible alarm to a unit plugged inside your house.  This will alert you if the fuel level suddenly drops. However, should you be out at the time of the theft, the alarm would be of little use.
  • Consider changing to a bunded tank (if you do not already have one). This is a tank within a tank and is much more complicated to gain access to, although it is still possible for the fuel line from the tank to be severed and the fuel drained out.

And

  • Check your home insurance policy – one in ten insurers do not cover domestic fuel theft!

Don’t panic!

This is not to alarm you, just provide you with a few precautionary hints! Remember fuel thefts are very rare, but if you have any worries or concerns, please contact our team for more information.

What our clients are saying

We had an exceptionally busy period at the pub in summer and ran out of gas from a delivery which would normally have lasted much longer. I rang Northern Energy mid-morning when we discovered our situation and they delivered within 20 minutes! We were all very impressed by the speed and helpfulness of the service which got us out of a potentially very difficult situation. Lunch service went on as normal in our pub.
Thank you, Northern Energy!
Mrs R - Publican
Excellent service , easy to order with polite efficient sales staff. Delivery drivers friendly and reliable, very impressed with all round customer service.  Mrs J
Your telephone is answered quickly and in a friendly manner followed up with call/message of delivery date. Mrs B
My husband and I are very pleased with your overall service and have recommended your service to other people round about. We rate you 10. Many thanks Mrs B
Yes I would recommend you, I score 10. The 'PPP' keeps my tank topped up, no VAT to pay. A very good efficient firm with nice friendly delivery men. Thank you Mr W
Been with you now since 2005 would recommend you to anyone Mr W
Always good service from ring (a day before) to say delivery is on it's way to the tank being filled up, thanks guys! Mr T
Last year I recommended you to my neighbour and he is equally happy with your service. Mrs S
I have just recommended your company to a friend who's just moved into a new home and uses oil. I have given you 10 in ratings. Mr M
We find the whole service really easy & efficient Mrs M
We are new customers, but the one delivery we have had came on time. The driver was very friendly and quick with no mess. Very pleased and no need to go elsewhere! Mrs D
I have always been very happy with the service I've recieved from Northern Energy and in fact have got you 2 more customers in the village. The delivery men are always courteous and I think that goes a long way! Northern Energy get a five star rating from me. Mr C
I am pleased with your automatic top-up system. It saves me worrying about running out and presumably saves you money if you can top up a group of neighbouring customers in one delivery - so win-win. Mr D
We have been very impressed with the service received from Northern Energy. The team are always very friendly and always willing to help in any which way they can. If we are cancelling a delivery there are never any questions asked. Recently we had a new oil tank fitted and the oil was delivered within two days of being ordered (we had allowed up to 5 days). Mr K
As a customer I love the all inclusive package of oil and maintenance that you offer. As a second home owner, we never run out of oil like we do ‘at home’ because you keep us ‘topped up’. Mr C

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