February 12, 2019
Heating oil is a valuable commodity, so there’s no wonder it is targeted by thieves. Police statistics reveal that the chance of being a victim of this heartless crime is a bit of a postcode lottery.
There are many ways to secure your tank and make lives difficult for thieves. Tank position, security lighting and CCTV, fences and thorny plants can all reduce your chances of being targeted.
For a comprehensive list of ideas to protect your tank, check out our blog post on oil tank security for more theft prevention tips.
But as technology moves on, all manner of gadgets and devices come on to the market to help make your tank that little bit more secure.
So here is our pick of the top gadgets that could help keep your precious heating oil safe.
Spinning tank cap
Padlocks are usually pretty easy for thieves to break. A sturdy pair of bolt cutters is often all it takes. That’s what makes these spinning caps so valuable – fuel owners don’t have to rely on a padlock to secure their tank.
The cap utilises clever technology so that when it is locked, it spins freely, making it all but impossible to get off. It is based on a one-piece design that eliminates torque points, meaning forced entry with a crowbar or similar tool is impossible.
External ‘arm’ lock
These external locks are designed to secure the extraction points on single skin and bunded plastic tanks. A double lock protects both the inspection hole and the fill point, making it very difficult for thieves to get access to either.
These locks are easy to fit and require no drilling. In most cases, however, they do need to be secured with a padlock, so take advice on the best one to buy. Make sure it is a round-shackled padlock, as these are difficult to access with bolt cutters.
Wireless oil level monitor
Wireless oil level monitors enable you to check the level of oil in your tank without leaving the comfort of your home. In the event of a sudden or quicker-than-usual drop in volume, they sound an alarm alerting you to the problem.
Most level monitors utilise ultrasound to measure the volume of oil in the tank. The ultrasound transmitter communicates with a receiver in your home, ensuring you never run out of oil, but also that thieves and leaks can be instantly detected.
Generally, wireless monitors have a range of up to 200m, so are effective no matter how far your tank is located from your house.
Check out our ultrasonic fuel gauge product.
Remote tank level text alert system
Whereas a wireless level monitor can only inform you of a drop in oil levels when you’re at home, a remote tank level text alert system can let you know when you’re on the move. That’s because such systems can be set up to send a text message to up to multiple mobile phones when changes inside your oil tank occur, such as a sudden drop.
Unsurprisingly, along with the extra functionality comes extra cost. Expect to pay around £200 for such a gadget, but that might be a relatively small cost if you have a lot of heating oil on site to protect.
Of course, it goes without saying that many rural areas suffer from poor mobile reception, so best check you can receive text messages where you live before you buy!
Oil tank security cage
Okay, so this might fall outside the description of ‘gadget’, but it is included in the list because it is an add on that could really help to keep your precious home heating oil safe.
An oil tank security cage does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a security cage that fits around your tank and locks, preventing thieves from getting access to it, but can be unlocked for deliveries.
They do tend to take up quite a bit of space and they’re not the best-looking item to have in your garden. But as we’re talking here about security, we’ll conveniently ignore those qualities! Generally, you can have them made to your own specifications out of sturdy materials that should put ne’er do wells off.
So, if your tank is out of sight and you have the space, a security cage could well be the way to go. It provides a serious physical barrier to thieves trying to steal your fuel. So there you have it, our top tips on how to keep your precious commodity safe and secure from thieves. Thanks for reading.
Remember, there are lots of things you can do to better protect their heating oil, but whatever option you choose, make sure your delivery drivers have safe and easy access.
On top of the above we also recommend regular quick inspections of your tank to check for any signs of tampering or problems, the same thing our heating engineers do when we carry out boiler servicing. For more information about oil boiler servicing click the link below.
Get Oil Boiler Servicing