Look after your heating oil tank and its contents

Heating Oil Tank in Garden without any apparent security

We are going to help you look after your heating oil tank and its contents from theft.

We are now at the time of year when its getting colder and heating oil tanks are full.

It will come as no surprise to you that the next 6 months makes your heating oil tank and oil vulnerable to theft. Make no mistake, with the pandemic and countless jobs gone, heating oil is cheap but has a value on the black market

Storing your oil in a tank is a big investment and one that is lkikely to cost you big time if things start to go wrong.


OFTEC, the Oil Firing Technical Association is an institution that represents suppliers of heating oil equipment such as tanks, boilers and pipework. Their suggestions includes conducting an annual inspection of your tank.Simple checks would include looking for cracks corrosion, discoloration and making sure debris cannot get into the tank to affect the oil. Oftec has a page of tips here.

Crack in heating oil tank

Watch out for heating oil theft

The busiest times for heating oil thefts is during the late Autun to early Spring. Economic uncertainty, higher prices and Covid-19 all bring with them higher risks of theft.

Mind you, it would be a very brave thief to steal heating oil during an enforced lockdown.

Face facts, heating oil theft still happens.

How heating oil theft occurs

In order to steal heating oil, thieves will usually decant, syphon or pump oil from your tank into other containers or into bulk tanks on criminals’ vehicles.

Thieves will look for the easiest access to steal heating oil. Pipes or padlocks will be cut, or holes drilled into a plastic tank.

Look after your heating oil tank – Check List
  • Check your household insurance cover. It really needs to cover you for loss and theft, plus damage and environmental clear-up costs if there’s a spillage.
  • Keep all gates to your property closed and securely locked at all times. Only open in advance of a fuel delivery. It just makes it easier for a contactless delivery to be performed.
  • Ensure gates and fences are in good repair.
  • Around or near the tank install PIR security floodlighting and maybe a small CCTV camera linked to your smart phone. (Amazon)
  • Oil tanks should be situated within sight of your home. They must not be visible from any roads. This can become tricky though, as you must comply with OFTEC’s fire-safety recommendations. Your overall aim is to make the tank as discreet as possible and hidden from view.
  • Plant prickly shrubs and bushes. These can deter thieves especially if they cut themselves or their clothing. The smallest trace of blood or shred of clothing could provide vital forensic evidence in determining the thief.
Titan LP1200 Tank Lock | Oil Tank Security for Titan LP1200
Oil Tank Lock for Titan LP1200 – Click on image for Tanklocks.com
  • Regularly check fuel levels. If the level drops suddenly then you know you have an issue. So checking your tank weekly will highlight some issues.
  • There are remote electronic oil monitors, which set off an audible alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops.
  • Install lockable caps with padlocks etc and, where possible, fit vulnerable fuel hoses with hardened/flexible casing so they are harder to cut.
  • If you are installing or resetting an oil tank, consider securing the tank in an alarmed, ventilated, locked structure or cage. But please remember the oil tanker driver will need access to fill the tank.

For current price trends, head on over to heatingoilshop.com and get multiple heating oil quotes from suppliers to your area. Also check out our post on heating oil tanks and new legislation regarding heating oil boilers. Every heating oil user must be aware of the these changes in legislation and costs associated with heating oil spills and leakages.

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