It’s the time of year thieves love - when heating fuel tanks are full

10/1/2000, PRICE OF FUEL OIL ROCKETS... PIC SHOWS ALASTAIR CRANSTON CHECKS THE LEVEL OF HIS KEROSENE TANK AT HIS FARM OF NETHERRAW NEAR LILLIESLEAF, BORDERS. PIC IAN RUTHERFORD

10/1/2000, PRICE OF FUEL OIL ROCKETS... PIC SHOWS ALASTAIR CRANSTON CHECKS THE LEVEL OF HIS KEROSENE TANK AT HIS FARM OF NETHERRAW NEAR LILLIESLEAF, BORDERS. PIC IAN RUTHERFORD

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Police Scotland, Tayside Division is issuing a warning and appealing for information after £1,000 worth of heating fuel was stolen from a tank in Letham Grange in Angus between Thursday, November 27 and Saturday, December 6.

It is difficult to secure such a valuable asset as it is kept outside, often in full view and has to be accessed easily by your fuel supplier.

Police are targeting Brechin people who have fuel tanks with advice to improve security.

Consider erecting a metal cage round your tank with a secondary lockable access hatch to the filler cap. Obviously you have to ensure you are available when the tanker driver requires access to fill it up. Any padlock should be the highest quality you can afford and be of the closed hasp design.

Position of the tank is important. If it is out of view of your house windows and near a path or road then it is easier for the thief to target. You have also to consider access by the legitimate tanker driver.

Security lights can have a positive effect and deter thieves. It is not always necessary to floodlight the area with high power beams. Low energy dusk to dawn lights positioned close to the tank can deter. This type of lighting is inexpensive and effective. Movement detectors which operate security lights can also activate alarms.

Remotely operated oil level gauges costing under £100 are now available. They set off an alarm if the level in a tank suddenly drops or falls below quarter-full.

Check your tank regularly for any spilt fuel, marks on the lock or any suspicious objects.

CCTV can watch over your tank and is a deterrent to thieves. There are many systems available and Police recommend you purchase the best you can afford, ensuring the camera is capable of capturing pictures at night or with the supplementary lighting you already have.

Tanks can be stored inside outbuildings but there are strict regulations which must be followed and advice could be sought from the fire service.