Protect yourself against fuel theft

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Homeowners with oil-fired central heating in rural areas are being urged to make sure they protect themselves against oil thefts.

Residents are being asked to remain vigilant throughout January and February, as the demand for oil may increase during the colder weather.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, the Oil Firing Technical Association, commented: “This is an issue that we can’t stress enough at this time of year as no one wants to run out of oil and risk going cold. If more people are aware and vigilant of oil thefts in rural communities, hopefully there will be fewer victims of this crime. “Thefts can take place at any time of year as thieves are extremely opportunistic. However, January and February often brings the harshest weather and this, combined with people feeling the pinch after Christmas, can make the early new year a popular time for thieves to strike.”

Homeowners should consider doing the following to ward off thieves:-

Fit a lockable cap or padlock to your tank; install a motion detecting security light; buy a fuel gauge alarm; display a warning message to say that your tank is alarmed; install a CCTV camera near your tank; look out for suspicious vehicles, especially on the day of your oil delivery.