Heating oil theft: how security systems can protect rural communities

Tim Geddes, Chairman of the BSIA’s SSS Section
Tim Geddes, Chairman of the BSIA’s SSS Section

As temperatures drop and fuel prices continue to rise, members of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) are helping to protect consumers against a worrying increase in heating oil thefts.

In a string of incidents, thieves have targeted unsecured heating oil tanks to steal thousands of litres of fuel, which can then be sold on the black market. Around 1.3 million homes – many in remote, rural areas – depend on heating oil to get them through the winter, paying an average of £900 for 1000 litres of fuel. Farms are particularly at risk, with insurance company NFU Mutual reporting more than 100 thefts of this kind, totalling a value of as much as £50,000.

To combat this problem, members of the BSIA’s Security Systems Section (SSS), which specialises in the installation of intruder alarms, have developed a number of tailored alarm systems that can offer protection to external heating oil storage tanks and external garden sheds.

Tim Geddes, Chairman of the BSIA’s SSS Section, comments: “Using the latest technology, many of these systems suit areas where there is either no local power or it is too costly to bring in a supply. BSIA members can supply a cost-effective mix of CCTV, intruder detection and mobile guards to help rural homes and businesses counter all types of risk.”

Technology developed by one BSIA member includes a revolutionary electronic measuring gauge, which uses ultrasonic level measurement techniques to continuously measure the level of oil in a tank, and will set off an alarm at the receiver in the house when there is a dramatic drop in oil levels.

Tim adds: “This technology can also help to prevent the dreaded situation of running out of fuel, as it provides an early warning when the oil level falls below 10%. Providing this sort of reassurance means that both residential and commercial customers can rest easy over Christmas without the added worry of fuel theft.”

To find out more about the BSIA and the work of its SSS section, visit http://www.bsia.co.uk/security-installers

The BSIA would like to thank its member, SecuriGuard, for their contribution to the background information contained in this release.

BSIA Website