Fuel Theft Prevention – What are the Options?
Minimizing and preventing fuel theft can have a positive effect on your bottom line and there are multiple solutions available. In some cases, the solutions require only awareness, time and effort, while others demand a financial investment as well as a commitment to ongoing use, training and maintenance. There are large number of options for you to choose from based on what best suits your unique circumstances, budget and company culture.
Some basic theft prevention measures can be put into place without investing in technology. A number of suggestions are listed below.
- Train drivers, operators and managers to be vigilant
- Ask employees to watch for unfamiliar faces and unusual behavior
- Ensure employees are aware of unmarked vehicles, vehicles with unusual branding and covered or missing license plates
- Employ guards to patrol areas where fuels are stored
- Assign photo identity cards to employees
- Get employees into the habit of requesting identification if they don’t recognize an individual
- Require employees to manually track fuel consumption and keep an eye out for unexplained variations in usage
- Encourage employees to take mental and written note of unfamiliar people (gender, age, race, height etc.), vehicles (type, model, color, plates etc.) and actions by people and/or vehicles
- Place tanks in well-lit, high-traffic, open areas
- Locate tanks and park vehicles so that it is difficult for thieves to access fuel dispensing outlets and equipment
- Minimize the cover available to potential thieves such as vegetation, sheds and more
- Remove or conceal empty tanks and barrels, pipes, hoses and other equipment that could be useful to thieves
- Build fences with solid locks on gates
- Use appropriate locks – don’t expect a cheap, flimsy lock to adequately protect valuable fuel
- Ensure employees diligently and consistently lock gates and tanks
In some situations, particularly larger operations, it isn’t possible to rely solely on the basic theft prevention measures listed above. Below are a number of security options available using technology. These options range in price and complexity.
- Your employees must carefully and regularly measure and monitor fuel levels and consumption using sensors and software
- Employees must be trained to use the software and equipment
- Software can be set to alert employees to above-average consumption rates and discrepancies
- Your company must dedicate employee time to analyzing data and reports to identify unusual patterns that suggest or indicate theft
- Install motion-sensor activated lights and audible alarms near tanks
- Invest in software and sensors
- Consider biometric authentication such as face-recognition, fingerprint and iris scans
- Use GPS and telematics systems to establish consumption benchmarks against which your team can compare real-life usage
- Leverage GPS and telematics systems to monitor daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly consumption patterns
- Use of fuel dyes makes it easier for company and law enforcement to identify and track stolen fuel
- Commit to CCTV cameras
- Use locking fuel tank caps, anti-siphoning devices and reinforced tank covers