Domestic heating oil and diesel oil security

Domestic heating oil and red and white diesel stored in containers and tanks are attractive targets for thieves.

Take some simple security measures to avoid becoming a victim of oil theft.

Oil tank

  • Place the tank out of sight of the main road but in view of the house.  Consider accessibility for the oil supply company to refill it
  • It is common to hide the tank behind a shed or garage but this can be advantageous to a thief
  • Consider a well-constructed wooden brick structure or a locked steel cage to deter thieves.
  • Placing the tank in an alarmed purpose built steel container provides greater security and allows access for maintenance.
  • Consider security lighting (link) or CCTV (link) as extra security measures.
  • If alarming the container, consider fitting a loud siren within or near to it. This will disrupt a thief.


Regardless of the type of structure you decide on, invest in a good quality close shackle padlock as they offer most resistance to thieves. Due to their design, very little of the metal hoop (shackle) is exposed and bolt croppers cannot get a good grip. You can find out more about the different grades of lock available at (we always recommend Motorcycle Gold Standard).

See more information on shed, tool and outbuilding security and garage security.

Tank alarms

There are now many alarms on the market that will alert you to an attempt to break to the lock of your tank filler. Look for alarms that are endorsed by Secured By Design. Whilst such alarms will help to alert you in some cases, be aware that the filler cap is not always attacked and you should not solely rely on such a device. 

Control switches and pipework

  • Ensure that pipework running from the tank to your home is well concealed and not exposed.
  • Install security tank locks over valves and caps.
  • Install control switches that limit and control the flow of oil if a pipe is cut and that prevent oil from leaving the tank when switched off.
  • Switch off and isolate the electricity supply when the tank is not in use.
  • Install oil level gauges to trigger an audible alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full. These gauges can be located in the kitchen, or perhaps a utility room to warn of any potential problem.
  • Remember to check oil levels regularly, this will help you to monitor usage and check none has gone missing.

White diesel

Whilst it is tempting to store quantities of regular white diesel at your home or business (especially if you live in a remote location or the fuel price is about to rise) this type of fuel is especially attractive to thieves. We advise you to keep any stocks of white diesel to the absolute minimum (and make this fact clear).

Report it

If you have been a victim of a diesels theft or have seen suspicious activity in your area, call 101 or report it online.  It would help if you can supply registration numbers of any vehicles involved.

If a burglary is in progress and you are in immediate danger, call 999.

More help and support

For further advice or recommendations, contact our Crime Prevention Advisors


Oil Firing Technical Association for the petroleum industry (OFTEC)

OFTEC offers advice and guidance for those who use and store oil at their premises. There are certain rules and regulations that may apply to you and OFTEC will help clarify these for you. 
0845 6585 080.

Sold Secure

29 Jun 21 11:44 AM

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