RURAL Cheshire homeowners operating oil-fired central heating are being reminded about the risk of fuel thefts during winter.
As the chill sets in, Cheshire Police has warned residents to remain vigilant throughout January and February, when the demand for oil may increase.
The National Farmers’ Union’s Rural Crimes Survey 2013 showed that fuel was the third most attractive commodity for thieves targeting rural properties.
Malcolm Farrow, the Oil Firing Technical Association, said: 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.”
A spokesman from Cheshire Constabulary added: “By being aware and taking simple precautions to protect your tank you can significantly reduce the risk.
“No one wants to be a victim of crime, so it really is beneficial to be proactive and take measures to deter thieves from your property.”
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.