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Diesel Tank Security Guide

"A guide to ensure your fuel tank is properly secured"

Farms, transport yards and other commercial properties often have bulk tanks on site for storing large amounts of fuel. These types of premises are often unmanned overnight and are typically closed over the weekend. This, along with staff potentially forgetting to lock up gates and tanks, can make them one of the easiest places to target when it comes to stealing fuel.

One of the most popular ways to improve diesel fuel tank security on commercial properties is to install a fuel management system (FMS), and if you are a company that has bulk fuel stored onsite, you should consider the benefits of having one of these systems installed.

Benefits of using a FMS:

  • Authorised dispensing and refuelling
  • Closely monitor the levels of your fuel tank
  • Improve your fuel tank security
  • Control your fuel consumption

A FMS will only allow authorised users to dispense fuel, denying anybody who isn’t authorised.

A FMS records the data from each transaction made:

1) Who took the fuel?
2) How much fuel did they take?
3) When did they take it?

This allows you to monitor the ins and outs of your company’s fuel usage, and keep track of your fuel level.

A FMS pump won’t kick in until you prove that you are authorised to use the pump, therefore a thief who tries to dispense the fuel will be unsuccessful – increasing your fuel tank’s security.

By controlling who can dispense and refuel, cases of people overusing should eventually, if not immediately, be eliminated. For example, if somebody is driving a 20 mile round trip and fill their tank before and after their journey, you know that something isn’t quite right as they should have plenty of fuel left over. This then allows you to discuss this with the person in question and resolve the situation. So, by controlling authorisation of fuel and examining the software data, you will be monitoring and controlling your company’s fuel consumption.

Other ways to secure your fuel tank:

Anti-theft equipment such as lockable caps for fill points and inspection chambers, minimising the chance of fuel being siphoned from your tank.

Strengthen hose casing to make hoses more difficult for thieves to cut.

Fit an electronic fuel monitor to keep check of your fuel levels. Getting a version with an audible alarm will alert you if the tank level suddenly drops unexpectedly, or if excessive movement/vibration on the tank is detected.

Using fuel dye is a good way to deter thieves from wanting to steal your fuel, as dye enables Police to easily identify stolen fuel, and also results in the fuel being harder to sell.

Security lighting on your premises also acts as a deterrent to thieves as there’s more chance of them being seen/caught.

CCTV and signs warning ‘CCTV in operation’ are generally enough to scare off would-be thieves.

Other warning signs to scare off criminals include: ‘Security patrols in operation’, ‘CAT converters and property security marked’ and ‘Fuel tank has theft alarms installed’.

Similarly to the oil tank security guide, it’s always good practice to:

Maintain a strong and secure site perimeter as this can slow down the theft process and allow CCTV and sensors/alarms more time to do their job.

For large amounts of stored fuel, steel tanks with roller shutter doors can be a good investment to secure your fuel – just ensure that the keys are kept in a safe place which is also secure.

Finally, tank location is an important decision to make, as once decided it’s not always easy or cost-effective to move your tank around – So will it be ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ or in plain sight for all to see? Both options have a number of pros and cons – see oil tank security guide for details – but generally speaking, for large commercial fuel tanks we would suggest ‘Out of sight’ in a secure and gated location.

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