Thefts of heating oil from rural homes across the UK have increased by over 50 per cent in the last six years, according to a new report. The latest countrywide research shows that more than £4 million worth of heating oil was stolen in 2016 alone.

As we move into the winter season and the days are getting shorter rural households are being warned to be vigilant in the wake of this rocketing increase in thefts.

Independent findings, commissioned by a national heating oil supplier, reveal that the average victim of theft will lose oil worth £280 and this can lead to fuel poverty.

It is believed that the increase in the price of oil from the beginning of 2016 to the present of around 65% has aggravated the situation. Additionally the isolated nature of many rural homes has made heating oil an easy target for thieves.

Around 1.6 million UK households are not connected to mains gas and rely on domestic heating oil to heat their homes. Domestic tanks, which typically cost up to £1,000 to fill up, are based outside the home, making it easier to steal, with thieves selling it on and using it for diesel cars.

The report says that there are however simple measures to reduce the likelihood of oil-theft, including using plants and fences to hide exposed tanks and fitting locks and alarm systems that are set off by an intruder.

Here are some top tips for preventing heating oil theft:

  1. Ensure you have a tank lock
  2. Keep your tank well hidden
  3. Install Sensor Lights
  4. Make use of your fuel alarm
  5. Sign up to oil theft alerts

For more detailed information on oil tank security go to

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