Oil theft may be on the rise, but you can protect your property with some simple measures
Wales is one of the most targeted areas in the UK for oil theft, according to a Which report.
Approximately 1.1 million households in the UK aren’t connected to the national grid and, instead, rely on heating oil stored in a tank to heat their homes. But this reliance on oil comes at a cost, as rural homes can be a target for thieves, who look to steal fuel worth thousands of pounds.
An average of 25,000 oil thefts were reported in 2018 alone and the most targeted areas were Gwent and Dyfed-Powys (which covers Powys, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire). Last November, 30,000 litres of oil were stolen from a single farm in Gwent.
But there are certain precautions you can take to keep the thieves at bay:
Install CCTV: On site cameras are an effective measure to deter thieves from targeting your property. It can also alert you to the crime instead of noticing the problem when it’s too late.
Install security lighting: Many thieves strike at night, so a well-lit property is another way to put them off. Security lighting tends to be bright enough that you can notice what’s outside from the comfort of your home.
Lock your tank up: Thieves will bring tools to gain access to your tank, so it’s a good idea to keep your oil tank secured with a good quality padlock. You can also discourage them by putting gravel around the area to make it harder for them to access it.
Switch from oil to gas: If you’ve been a repeated victim of this type of crime, the nuclear option is to heat your home with other fuel alternatives, such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is almost impossible to steal and can be stored underground and out of sight of thieves.