Frigid winter temperatures mean that you will need to warm your home, especially at night as the mercury dips. There are many methods for doing this, such as building a fire. Of course, not all homes come with a fireplace, and then you would need to keep waking up to feed the fire. Having a furnace is best, but then you need to think about oil tank security.
Prices on heating oil have been rising for years, which means it is more valuable than ever. This makes it a target for thieves, especially since most tanks are generally outside, in plain sight. Police in many areas, particularly rural ones, have warned residents to secure thank tanks in order to prevent theft.
Luckily, there are quite a few steps you can take to reduce the chance of a group of thieves targeting your house. Some are relatively cheap and others a little more expensive, but all of them will save you money in the long run, so each one is worth the initial investment.
If your tank is outside, one of the easiest ways to prevent stealing is to put it in an enclosure. You can buy one ready built, or use spare wood or metal sheets that you might have lying around to build a cage. You can also plant an organic barrier using hedges or bushes so it is harder to get to the tank’s door.
Just make sure it is not so hard to get through that the refill truck that delivers your oil can’t make their delivery properly. Another option is to move it indoors if that is a possibility. Some people can put it in a basement or storage room that is locked. Once again, make sure refill trucks can still deliver to you if you put it indoors.
Locks are also another way to deter potential thieves. These locks go on the tank door and make it hard or impossible to get inside and steal the fuel that you need to keep your family warm throughout the winter. They basically block the extraction points so that nobody can put a tube into the tank and siphon out the fuel. Choose a lock that has good reviews and cannot be picked very easily for best results.
There are also alarms that go off when the oil is being siphoned. The noise is definitely loud enough to wake you up or alert you that someone is trying to steal from you. However, since the noise only begins when the oil level goes down rapidly, the culprit may still make off with some of your precious oil. This really should be used in conjunction with a lock, so you have a one-two defensive punch.
Instead of a tank alarm, you can do other things that make noise. Put a trail of gravel all around the tank area that makes a lot of noise. Some people even put broken glass around the area, but this can be dangerous if you have children or pets who play in the yard. Whatever method you decide to use, you will go a long ways towards making sure that your hard-earned fuel warms your house and not someone else’s.