• If applicable

Posted Monday, January 18th, 2021

Fuel theft continues to be a major issue in all parts of the world. As thieves are finding trucks and vehicles harder and harder to steal worthwhile quantities of fuel from they are therefore targeting farms, building sites and depots that aren’t manned or safeguarded. Another reason why fuel theft has risen over the years is possibly in relation to the rise in fuel prices. As the cost of diesel increases so does the chance of criminals targeting an exposed fuel tank.

Fuel theft costs a great deal for a variety of industries such as construction  – coming in at $390 million a year (source: ato) agriculture – fuel theft was the third highest crime reported (newshub.co.nz).

Below are 10 ways you can combat fuel theft from your bulk fuel tank and minimise an risk of fuel theft from your tanks:

  1. Security Lighting

    When considering placement of tank, consider installation of security lights/cameras/motion sensors to pick up any unwanted activity. Thieves usually work in the dark and most likely it will not be their first rodeo of stealing fuel. The more you can install alert measures the better off your fuel will be.

  2. Fuel locking System

    Many fuel tanks now come with a enclosed pump bay, meaning that only those with access can fill their vehicles or machinery. The DC Series is one such option as are the Fortis Stationary range of fuel tanks.

  3. Alarm Systems

    These include gravel or other surfaces with audible qualities. Alarms that work on the principle of movement of liquid inside the tank (drop alarms, fuel sensors, anti-siphoning devices, bund alarms), filing cap alarms in and around the tank site will help alert you to activity around your tank. It might not always be the case that the levels have changed due to your fuel being stolen by thieves. It could also alert you to a leak in your tank which could be just as disastrous for your business or home.

  4.  Fuel Management System

    Fuel Management Systems or FMS are a must if you are dealing with large quantities of fuel (over 1,000 litres). These are ideal if you either have one tank on a site, or tanks located over multiple properties. These work to give real time reporting to you right down to vehicle registration, litres pumped and user. The Sapphire system is an option and can be retrofited to your current fuel tank through a series of easy steps. Find out more here.

  5. Mans best friend

    A barking dog 9 times out of 10 works wonders on a site, especially if the fuel tank is located close to the main property where people reside.

  6. Noting Suspicious Activity

    If there are vehicles or people around you tank that you are unfamiliar with do not hesitate to make a note or alert authorities. This is important due to the fact that if a theft does occur it is important to record it so police in your area can allocated resources (especially to those in rural communities who can be susceptible targets for fuel theft). Some fuel thieves will scope a yard during the day to target later that night. Take note of anyone acting suspiciously around your yard, and if it’s safe to do so, engage and ask what they are doing.

  7. Educate your employees

    Unfortunately 22% of all worksite theft occurs through people within the company, another reason to implement measures such as a FMS to capture any unauthorised activity. As an owner if your employees are aware measures are in place then they are less likely to commit a crime of opportunity.

  8. Using fuel cards, fobs or tags

    These are an additional precaution which ties usage to an individual and their vehicle (this is very useful useful for ensuring only those who have authority can access the pump). In many cases without this the pump will simply not start whatsoever.

  9. Security Fencing

    Sometimes thieves can easily get into the property as fencing is not secure, which makes it one step closer for them to steal your fuel.  Installing a good quality, strong perimeter fencing or a security cage will make life difficult for any opportunistic thief.  Anything you can do to make it more difficult to approach the area by vehicle, such as installing security bollards will all help increase the effort any perspective thief has to go to and thus hopefully reduce your risk of you becoming a victim of fuel theft.

  10. Signage

    Placing signs around the site or premises to highlight the security measures you have put in place may also help to deter thieves (and vandals even) from entering the site. Signs you may want to consider putting up include;
    Private property keep out
    Warning CCTV in operation
    Security patrols in operation
    All vehicles have security devices
    All vehicles are left with minimum fuel


These pointers should hopefully help you in your fight against fuel theft. If you would like to speak to one of our reps on possibly solutions to this issue too give us a call or email info@fuelchieftanks.com

(Sources: NFU, Western Global, News Hub)


Blog article by Praneel Lal

Watch: How to Minimise Fuel Theft

Products that can aid in preventing fuel theft

fuel management software and other items in our range.