Around 4 million UK homes are off the gas-grid and 1.5 million use oil-fired heating as a gas alternative. These homes use oil-fired boilers (similar to a gas boiler) to heat oil which is stored in a private heating oil tank. For those unfamiliar with oil heating may be concerned by the concept but oil heating has been used in the UK for around a century. As a manufacturer of a range of tanks including heating oil, we’ve written this guide to alleviate these concerns and share our expertise on everything about heating oil tanks. This incudes the types of tanks available, storage regulations and even how to get the best price for your heating oil.

What is heating oil?

Heating oil is a liquid fuel used in boilers and furnaces for heating and/or cooking in domestic and commercial applications typically when the property is not connected to the gas-grid. Kerosene (also known as home heating oil or 28-second oil) is a used primarily for domestic heating. Gas oil (also known as red diesel or 35-second oil) is used primarily for commercial and agricultural applications. These heating oils are by-product of crude oil and are therefore a fossil fuel. With strict emissions targets approaching, these heating are being phased out of UK heating. Fossil fuels will likely to replaced by low-carbon biofuels such as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils (HVO) or heat pumps. Find out more in our Expert Guide to HVO Fuel Tanks.

What are heating oil storage tanks used for?

Heating oil is generally used as an alternative to gas in properties that are not connected to the national gas network. Oil tankers deliver the oil to heating oil storage tanks for transportation to boilers and furnaces where the fuel is ignited. Uses vary between domestic and commercial applications.

Domestic heating oil

Usually heating oil is used to fuel a boiler for hot water and central heating. Around 1.5 million properties in the UK use oil for home heating. Although it’s less common, heating oil can also be used for cooking in oil-fired Agas.

Commercial heating oil

In a commercial setting, heating oil is used to fuel machinery for construction, agriculture and horticulture. It can also be used to fuel furnaces, generate electricity, produce steam for industrial machinery, and heat commercial buildings including holiday homes.

Do I need a bunded oil tank?

Whether a new oil tank installation requires a bund depends upon four factors:

  • The location of the tank and proximity to water sources.
  • The country the oil tank is sited in.
  • The capacity of the tank.
  • The usage. Note that heating oil tanks used for farmhouses count as domestic usage.

The table below gives a quick insight into where you need a bunded tank. For more information read the regulations section of this article.

What are the advantages of using heating oil?

The use of heating oil is typically a necessity for off-grid properties rather than a ‘choice’. However, there are some distinct advantages when compared with other off-grid heating sources and even compared with mains gas. These include:

  • Heating oil burns hotter than gas and warms a house quicker than gas or electric-powered heaters.
  • HVO is a low-carbon alternative to gas or electric heating and as around one-third of generated electricity is from fossil fuels, HVO is better for the environment.
  • Unlike heat pumps, HVO can be used effectively in hard to heat homes with poor EPC ratings.
  • Heating oil is the cheapest alternative to gas at a cost of around 5.5 pence per kWh. Comparatively gas is 5.1 pence per kWh and electricity is 20.7 pence per kWh. (NottEnergy 2019).
  • Modern heating oil systems are more efficient than gas or electric meaning that less fuel is wasted and more fuel is converted into heat. Heating oil furnaces exceed 90% efficiency whereas gas heating furnaces is around 75% and electric 30%.
  • Heating oil gives you much more control of your fuel supply. You can choose when you want to fill your heating oil storage tank, who fills it, who supplies it, and you can shop around for the best deals.
  • Most heating oil suppliers give you the option of paying monthly making your heating payments the same as if you were paying for gas.

What are the disadvantages of using heating oil?

The disadvantages of using heating oil include:

  • Prices for heating oil fluctuates particularly from summer to winter and unlike gas there are no fixed-term contracts. This can be inconvenient and puts the onus on you to buy at the right time. However, this can also work to your advantage.
  • Heating oil requires delivery which takes time and additional cost which is inconvenient compared to gas. However, joining a fuel buying group can significantly reduce delivery costs.
  • Kerosene is a fossil fuel and is therefore non-renewable, has a high carbon output and is being phased out of UK heating. However, HVO offers a low-carbon alternative to kerosene and will likely become available as a direct replacement.

What types of heating oil storage tank are available?

Heating oil storage comes in a variety of types and sizes with different capacities suitable for domestic and commercial applications. They can be manufactured in steel or plastic (polyethylene), and are bunded. Tuffa Tanks are also the only UK manufacturer of steel and plastic Fire Protected Oil Tanks. These are factory-fitted with an integral fire rated material enabling compliant installation adjacent to buildings and boundaries or even inside.

You can find out the differences between these tanks and the benefits of each below:

Bunded heating oil tank

Bunded oil tanks have two layers – an inner tank and an outer tank (bund) which acts as a secondary containment (a tank within a tank). Regulations state that the bund must be able to hold at least 110% of the contents of the inner tank. In the event of a leak, the outer tank will contain the oil which would otherwise risk contaminating the local area. Having a bund is a usually a requirement for any new oil tank installation with a capacity to hold more than 2,500 litres.

Fire protected oil tank

Integrally fitted fire protected oil tanks contain a flame-retardant material offering 30 or 60 minute fire protection. This is a requirement under British Standards for oil tanks located near buildings and boundaries or even inside. The fire rated material is designed to allow sufficient time to evacuate the area while a fire is controlled and extinguished. Find out more info on our Expert Guide to Fire Rated Oil Tanks.

Steel

Steel oil tanks can be single skin or bunded and bunded tanks can be fitted with fire protection. Usually steel tanks are made to order meaning they can meet bespoke requirements, capacities and dimensions. This makes steel tanks popular with people who are replacing old tanks as they can sit inside the same space. Steel tanks are more expensive than plastic tanks but they offer greater durability with a designed life expectancy in excess of 30 years.

Plastic

Plastic oil tanks can be single skin or bunded and bunded tanks can be integrally fitted with fire protection. The plastic used is a polyethylene, a recyclable material known to be extremely hard-wearing. Our plastic tanks are roto moulded which makes a single unit without seams or joints which can create weak points. Tuffa’s bunded plastic tanks have a designed life expectancy of 20 years or more and are a cheaper alternative to steel oil tanks.

How much heating oil will I use?

The amount of heating oil you use depends upon a huge number of factors including how many rooms you’re heating, your home’s EPC rating, how often you’re at home, the desired temperature and whether you’re using oil solely for heating or cooking. However, to get a basic idea of heating oil consumption, a typical three-bedroom household using kerosene for heating only, and mostly on weekends and evenings, will use around 1,600 litres of oil annually. Using kerosene for heating and cooking will increase this to around 1,800 litres annually.

What size heating oil tank do I need?

As a rule of thumb, domestic heating oil tanks are recommended to have a capacity of at least 500 litres per household bedroom. However, while there are advantages to having a large heating oil tank, we find that most homeowners will opt for a lower-capacity, slimline oil tank to save space in the garden. Our plastic bunded 1350L oil tank, 1150L plastic Fire Protected Oil Tank, and 1000L steel bunded or steel Fire Protected Oil Tanks are among our most popular ranges.

How do I get the best price for heating oil?

Whereas gas and electric companies tie you into long-term contracts with a single supplier, heating oil does not require a contract – although you can often choose to pay monthly. Most rural locations have are served by multiple fuel suppliers keeping heating oil costs competitive in the area. This means that when it comes to refuelling your tank, you can compare heating oil prices from different suppliers and pitch competitors against each other.

Another way you can reduce the price of your fuel is by joining a “heating oil club” or “fuel buying group”. These are communities of people who band together to buy their heating oil in bulk. This means the fuel supplier can deliver the fuel to multiple properties in one small area and has the result of lowering the overall cost so each member of the community gets a better deal. BoilerJuice is perhaps the best known oil club but there are numerous national and local clubs for most locations.

Some households will be limited for space or simply prefer smaller, less obstructive tanks. However, where this isn’t an issue then purchasing larger oil tanks (for example our 2500L plastic bunded tank or 2300L steel bunded tank) can pay dividends. The larger capacity means that homeowners can purchase in bulk (and therefore achieve better rates from the fuel supplier) and have a greater stock of fuel to last until fuel prices are low – for example during summer months.

When is the best time to purchase heating oil?
When we look at the price of kerosene over 10 years we can see that there is a huge overall variance in fuel prices even in the same month; the cost of 1,000 litres of heating oil in February 2021 was just £466 compared with February 2022 at £696 – that’s £230 or around 50% more. This variance occurs because, like other crude oils, the price of heating oil is dependent on a whole range of factors ranging from exchange rates to conflict in oil producing countries. Here we see the lack of demand for oil caused by COVID-19 reducing prices in 2021, while in 2022 tensions with Russia has increased prices dramatically.

Recent data from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) sheds light on the dynamic landscape of heating oil prices. The statistics, gathered over the past months, present a nuanced picture of the cost per 1000 litres and show prices peaking in June 2022 at £1,109.

Conclusion: As heating oil prices continue to be a significant aspect of energy consumption, keeping an eye on the latest statistical data becomes paramount. The ONS data serves as a valuable resource for navigating the complex terrain of heating oil costs, contributing to more informed and strategic choices.

 

While some fluctuations in oil prices are almost entirely unpredictable, kerosene is consistently cheaper during summer months as shown in the graph below.

Oil storage tank regulations

Everyone storing oil in a container with a capacity to store over 200 litres must follow oil storage regulations. These regulations differ throughout the UK and depend upon the usage of the tank and its location – both the proximity of the tank in relation to other structures and the country in which the tank resides.

Domestic oil storage tank regulations

The England Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations (2001) state that an oil tank is considered domestic if it has a capacity of 3,500 litres or under and it’s used to heat a domestic building. Domestic oil storage regulations state that an oil tank must have a bund if it’s installed in any of the following places:

  • Where oil spills could run over hard ground and reach coastal waters, inland fresh waters or a drinking water source.
  • Where oil spills could run into an open drain or a loose manhole cover.
  • Where the tank vent pipes cannot be seen when the tank’s being filled, for example, because the delivery tanker is parked too far away.
  • Within 10 metres of coastal waters or inland fresh waters like lakes or streams.
  • Within 50 metres of a drinking water source, for example, wells, boreholes or springs.
  • In the inner zone of groundwater source protection zone 1.
  • New domestic oil tank installations within England with a capacity to store over 2,500 litres also require a bund.

While this means in most cases a bund isn’t compulsory for homeowners in England, we still recommend purchasing a bunded tank as good environmental practice and financial security. Oil leaks are extremely detrimental to the environment and can cost tens of thousands of pounds in clean up costs and fines. Not all insurance companies accept single skin oil tanks and they may not pay if there is evidence that the leak is an ongoing issue or has been caused due to poor maintenance and negligence.

Domestic oil storage tank regulations in Wales

Oil Storage Regulations Wales (2016) state that anyone in Wales storing more than 200 litres of oil are required to provide secure secondary containment for their above ground storage containers. This includes oil tanks, drums, IBCs and mobile bowsers. Bunded oil tanks are integrally fitted with a secondary containment and have the ability to hold at least 110% of the capacity of the inner tank – as required by Oil Storage Regulations Wales (2016). This means that if the inner oil tank has a capacity to hold 1,000 litres, then the bund must hold at least 1,100 litres.

Despite the recent hype, the regulations have actually been in place for a few years now and are part 3 stages aimed at decreasing the risk of oil contamination to the environment. The three stages are:

  1. Any oil tank installed after 15 March 2016 with a capacity over 200 litres* must have secondary containment.
  2. From 15 March 2018 existing oil tanks with a capacity over 200 litres that are at significant risk of contaminating water sources (e.g. within 10 meters of surface water including wetlands, or within 50 meters of a borehole or well) must have secondary containment.
  3. From 15 March 2020 all oil tanks in Wales with a capacity of more than 200 litres must have secondary containment.

*It’s important to note that this is not the amount of oil being stored but the capacity of the tank itself.

Exemptions to the Regulations

  • Oil containers installed before 15 March 2016 at domestic properties are exempt. This includes farmhouses unless they fall into the category of business use, e.g. converted into holiday lettings. All installations after 15 March 2016 with a capacity over 200 litres must be bunded.
  • Oil held for distribution or processing is exempt in most cases.
  • Generally, all oil stored in machinery or used to supply generators in full time or standby use are exempt.

Now the final deadline is looming we’ve been having an increasing number of oil tank owners in Wales calling our office to find of whether their tanks are compliant. With a risk of fines for non-compliancy costing up to £5,000, it’s easy to see why tank owners are concerned.

Oil Storage Regulations Wales – Leading the Charge

Wales is the first country in the UK to require secondary containment for oil storage tanks with a capacity from 201 litres. The rest of the UK lags behind and currently only require a bund for tanks with a capacity of over 3500 litres, or for smaller tanks where oil spills risk entering water sources. For more details about oil storage in the rest of the UK see the links in the next sections.

Domestic building regulations – fire separation distances

As well as oil storage regulations, heating oil tanks that are connected to a furnace or boiler must also comply with building regulations. These regulations state fire separation distances – minimum distances that your heating oil tank must be from boundaries and structures. These regulations are in place to reduce the risk of fires igniting the kerosene. Under these regulations your tank cannot be located:

  • Within 1.8m of a non-fire rated building or structure.
  • Within 760mm of a non-fire rated boundary.
  • Within 1.8m of non-fire rated eaves.
  • Within a close proximity of a balanced flu.

The exception to this is where a fire barrier is in place to prevent a fire spreading to the tank. Tuffa tanks are the only UK manufacturer of plastic and steel integrally fire rated heating oil tanks. With 30 minute fire rating this system enables compliant installation as close as 300mm from structures including:

  • Buildings and structures (including windows, doors, eaves, a garage or shed).
  • A flue (provided heat doesn’t dispel onto the tank).
  • Boundaries (including a wooden fence).
  • Screening (including trellis and foliage)
Illustration of a compliant conventional oil tank installation

Can I install an oil tank in a garage?

Oil tanks can be installed within a garage or other uninhabited building located at a domestic property but requires a fully enclosed non-combustible fire-resistant chamber with 60 minute fire resistance. Our Fire Protected Oil Tanks are factory-fitted with an independently tested fully encompassing fire resistant material which offers 60 minute fire resistance. A Tuffa 60 minute fire resistance oil tank can be installed inside a domestic building provided that the tank:

  • Is installed in an uninhabitable area (e.g. a garage or outbuilding).
  • Is fitted with at least 60 minute fire protection.
  • Has a secondary containment system (bund) which can hold 110% capacity of the primary tank. All our Fire Protected Oil Tanks are integrally bunded.
  • Is installed at the lowest possible level in the building or structure.
  • Is sited with at least a 300mm clearance separating the tank and other structures or barriers.
  • Is sited with at least 600mm clearance where physical access is required (e.g. for filling the tank).
  • Is vented to the open air sufficiently to prevent stagnation, independently of any other part of the premises and preferably by natural means. Our Fire Protected Oil Tanks with 60 minute fire resistance are factory-fitted with a remote vent and remote fill connection points.
Illustration of a compliant internal oil tank installed in a garage

Commercial oil storage regulations

Commercial oil storage regulations must be followed if your business (including marinas and public sector premises) stores oil in a tank with a capacity of 201 litres or higher, or if your domestic premises stores oil in a tank with a capacity over 3,500 litres.

If your oil tank falls into this category then your tank must contain a secondary containment to reduce the risk of spillages. This secondary containment usually takes the form of a bund – an outer layer capable of holding at least 110% of the inner tank’s capacity. This bund can be constructed from masonry or concrete, or can be ‘integrally bunded’. Tuffa’s oil tanks are integrally bunded meaning that the bund is fitted during the manufacturing process.

To find out more about domestic and commercial oil storage regulations in your country click on the appropriate link:

Oil Storage Regulations EnglandControl of pollution (oil storage) regulations 2001

Oil Storage Regulations WalesControl of pollution (oil storage) regulations 2016

Oil Storage Regulations ScotlandThe Water Environment (Controlled Activities) Regulations 2011

Oil Storage Regulations Northern IrelandControl of pollution (oil storage) regulations 2010

Heating oil tank maintenance

Heating oil tank maintenance is usually the responsibility of the homeowner in domestic properties or the business owner in commercial premises. Given the risk that oil leaks present to the environment and the high cost of clean-up operations, it’s vital to ensure that oil tanks are maintained and inspected on a regular basis. While visual inspections can be conducted by homeowners or untrained staff, servicing and maintenance should be conducted by a Competent Person.

Checking your oil tank
It’s recommended that you check your oil tank on a monthly basis and after any episodes of extreme weather. Some of the visible signs you should look for on the tank include:

  • The fill point arrangement for soundness and leaks.
  • Any outlet valves should be checked for leaks and operation (open and close successfully).
  • The testing of contents gauge, any high level / overfill alarm and bund alarm.
  • If vents can be seen that they are clear and unblocked and free of debris.
  • A visual inspection around the tank with emphasis on the base of the tank. The inspection for plastic tanks should include any deformation of the surface of the tank such as:
    • Excessive bulging
    • Change in colour due to chemical attack
    • Crazing or stress fractures.
  • The inspection of steel tanks should include looking for evidence of:
    • Rust and heavy corrosion
    • Damp patches on seams & seam fractures.
  • The bund to be visually inspected for soundness and integrity, water, spilt product, or other debris.

Maintenance
As well as visual checks to your oil tank we recommend that you use a competent technician to maintain your tank every year – this can be done at the same time your boiler is serviced. Your technician should check the tank, bund and pipework and remove any condensation water. Upon completion, you should receive a written report on the state of the tank and any work done. This service can be performed by members of Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) or the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC).

One way we have worked to reduce the costs of oil tank maintenance is by supplying all of our bottom outlet fuel tanks with an Ultra Compact Isolation Valve. As the valve provides safe isolation as the very first component it can save technicians hours on jobs such as replacing the filter valve. With basic valves usually supplied with oil tanks this would require draining and refilling the tank.

Cleaning your oil tank
Condensation inside tanks causes sludge which can clog fuel lines and filters. However, by making sure your oil levels don’t get too low you can reduce the chance of sludge being able to enter the fuel lines. It’s often the fuel delivery technician who notices the build-up of sludge and they may be able to advise you on when to clean your tank. However, we recommend you clean an oil tank roughly every five years to keep it in good working order and to prevent oil contamination.

Tank cleaning is performed by a professional tank cleaning service as without the professional tools it’s a laborious and complicated job and will likely lead to spills.

Signs it’s time to replace your oil tank
While oil tanks from reputable manufacturers are durable, exposure to the elements does eventually affect their structural integrity. The technician servicing your tank will usually make you aware that it’s time to replace your oil tank. However, there are a few basic clues you can look out for too:

  1. A plastic oil tank should have a minimum design life of 20 years while a steel oil tank should have a minimum design life of 30 years. While this isn’t a guarantee the tank will last this long, it does give an indication that after this time you should be particularly mindful of your tank’s condition.
  2. Signs of leaks or weeping should be reported immediately and in most cases the tank will need replacing.
  3. Severe rust in steel tanks or cracks and bulges in plastic tanks are a clear indication to replace the tank.

What insurance do I need for an oil tank?

As well as properly maintaining your oil tank you should check your home insurance to ensure it covers you for the full cost of oil leaks. Many insurance companies won’t cover you for oil leaks if your tank doesn’t have a bund (i.e. if it’s single skinned) and if the leak was caused by neglect. You should check that any insurance policy cover you for:

  1. Expenses for cleaning up oil on your own property including buildings and land.
  2. Third-party liability expenses to cover neighbouring land and property.
  3. Environmental investigation and clean-up costs if the oil spills into surface or groundwater.

What should I do if my oil tank leaks?

As discussed in our Environmental and financial implications of bulk fuel storage article, the environmental and financial costs of a fuel spill can be crippling. Just one litre of oil can contaminate one million litres of water and oil spilt into the foundations of a building can lead to major
renovation work.

To reduce any impact to the environment that oil spills have it’s important you keep a spill kit near the tank containing commercial sorbent products, sand and earth. In the event of a spill you should take immediate action and soak up the spilt oil with contents of your spill kit. If the spill is likely to reach waterways then you should report the environmental incident on the 24-hour emergency hotline 0800 80 70 60.

Preparing your heating oil tank for winter

As we approach winter homeowners fill and start to use the oil tanks for what can be the first time in 6 months. Full tanks and a sudden strain on pipes and boilers mean that autumn and winter are a common time for oil leaks to occur – when you need the tank the most. For this reason, we
recommend a few steps to prepare your tank for winter.

  1. Check your tank: Hot summers cause plastic tanks to expand and cold winter cause plastic tanks to contract. This can create cracks and splits in the tank which might only start leaking when the tank is full.
  2. Get your tank serviced with your boiler: A typical household uses two-thirds of its yearly heating oil consumption between October and March. We recommend getting your boiler serviced so your boiler is in prime condition for this period. As well as checking the heating system and helping to ensure its smooth running, a service will improve the efficiency of the boiler when you are using it most.
  3. Secure your tank against fuel theft: Early winter is the time where oil theft is most likely to occur. Organised thieves know that oil tanks will be full while prices are at their highest so the rewards are the highest. Check out our preventing heating oil theft article below for advice on preventing theft and protecting your tank.

What do I look for in a new house with a heating oil storage tank?

Viewing or buying a new house and discovering that it’s heated an oil-fired boiler can be alarming for those unfamiliar with liquid heating. However, there is no reason that it should put you off buying a house.

Check out the diagram below to familiarise yourself with the layout of a heating oil tank.

(Image is for illustration purposes only and shows under the lid of a Tuffa 1350L plastic bunded heating oil tank).

As you would do before moving into any new property, it’s worthwhile doing a few basic visual checks to ensure everything looks okay:

  • Check the condition of the heating oil tank looking for any signs of deterioration such as cracks, bulging or rust. Look around the base of the tank for any signs of weeping or leaks. If you can see inside the bund (outer tank) then check for any signs of leaks or spills within the bund.
  • Perform a basic check to see if the heating oil tank is outside of fire separation distances. The tank should be at least 1.8m away from buildings and 760mm from boundaries like a fence. The tank should also be sited on a solid concrete base which extends 300mm past the outer edges of the tank. If the tank is very old then it may have been installed before these regulations were in place. Otherwise, if it’s a Tuffa tank then it could be integrally fire rated and therefore compliant with building regulations. Check the paperwork to see if this is the case.
  • Check the age and condition of the boiler and any visible pipes.
  • Check the fuel level gauge to ensure you have heating oil ready for when you move in – delivery can sometimes take a week or two so book early or be prepared with alternative heating.
  • Be sure to read the rest of this guide to familiarise yourself with heating oil and to get the best price for kerosene.

How do I prevent heating oil theft?

With domestic heating oil tanks capable of holding well over £1,000 worth of heating oil, and various economic crisis hitting the UK, it’s no great surprise that oil tanks are a target for thievery. To add insult to injury, heating oil theft can also lead to spillages and the possibility of clean-up fees. This is a real problem in the UK and in 2018 there were over 25,000 confirmed fuel thefts equating to losses of over £1.75m. The best way to stop theft is to prevent thieves from even trying to steal from your tank. However, if that fails it’s always worthwhile having additional protection on your tank.

Heating oil theft prevention
Preventing fuel theft usually involves installing clear visual deterrents to stop thieves from targeting you. Alternatively, you can simply hide your fuel tank away, so thieves don’t know you have one.

On the cheaper end of the visual deterrent scale, you can install motion-detection security lighting which alerts you to a presence in your property and is often enough to discourage intruders. With a little extra money, you can install CCTV (or even dummy CCTV) placed in a position where intruders can see they are being filmed but cannot reach the camera. Visual deterrents are also a great way to let intruders know they are dealing with someone who is security conscious – this is often enough to make thieves choose an easier target.

The location of the oil tank itself can help to reduce fuel theft – if you can’t see the tank from the road then most people simply won’t know it’s there. Obstacles such as sheds, fences, trellis and foliage can be used to ensure tanks aren’t visible from the road. Hiding a tank is made more achievable with integrally fitted fire protection oil tanks as they allow you to site your tank next to or even inside buildings. Internally sheltered tanks or tanks screened from above have the added benefit of making your oil tank impossible to see from Google’s satellite images – a tool that criminals are known to use while locating valuable items in people’s properties.

Protecting the contents of your oil tank
While preventing heating oil theft can reduce the likelihood of attempted fuel theft, protecting your tank can decrease the chances of success. There are numerous products available which can physically protect your tank or alert you when theft is occurring. Also, if you are looking to purchase a new heating oil tank then it’s worthwhile considering which type of tank offers the most protection.

Lockable lid
Some heating oil tanks (including our bunded and fire protected ranges) are equipped with a lockable lid which can be fitted with a padlock. This offers the fill points protection from siphoning. We recommend using round-shackle padlocks as they leave little room for bolt cutters to grip the lock and because they are not spring loaded they will not unlock if the key barrel is drilled into.

Lockable fill points
The easiest way to steal heating oil is to siphon it from a fill point or inspection hole in the tank. If your tank doesn’t have a lockable lid then tank arms (which acts like a steering wheel lock) and security locks can be used instead to offer extra protection to these vulnerable points.

Tanks alarms
A tank alarm such as a Watchman Alarm is used to alert you when there is a sudden drop in oil in your heating oil tank. A leak in your tank or someone stealing fuel will trigger an alarm in the monitor which can be fitted inside your house or office.

Steel tanks
Steel is more difficult to penetrate than plastic and often tools are required to drill into the tank which can alert tank owners. Comparatively, plastic is softer and makes much less noise when being drilled. There have even been reports of thieves heating metal rods to melt holes into plastic tanks. These factors also make steel tanks a less attractive target than their plastic counterparts.

Bunded tanks
Bunded oil tanks make stealing fuel more complicated as thieves have to penetrate both the outer tank and inner tank. They also often come with lockable lids which hide fill points.

 

We hope that you found this guide useful but if you still require further advice or a quotation please submit an enquiry or give us a call on 01889 567700.