Fuel is essential to almost every business in the UK, so keeping it safe is a high priority. For forecourts in particular, fuel theft is increasing, with over £300,000 of fuel stolen last year.
Thieves typically target non-24-hour petrol stations at night. Fuel is usually stolen by removing the fill point cap or plug and then inserting a suction pipe, connected to a transfer pump, into the tank. Fuel is then pumped from the tank into a tanker or container with thieves targeting mainly diesel tanks. The only real way to stop this from happening is through the use if locking devices and wet stock management, with both methods in combination the ideal scenario.
Locking devices can be fitted at a number of points on a tank; at the fill point (internally or externally), tank guage or suction line. Locks are relatively inexpensive and can easily be fitted over existing pipework, providing a first line of defence against fuel theft.
From our own experience, locking devices really work – we currently supply them to over 600 sites in the UK, including some of the major oil company owned sites and large supermarket groups.
Wet stock management
Wet stock management provides mobile monitoring of fuel levels, giving real-time data and alarms if the quantity of fuel goes down. This can be used by forecourts to generally make sure they have enough fuel on-site and whether lines are leaking, but also in the event of theft. With data available on a mobile, for example, responsible parties can be alerted about any issues as soon as they happen.
In regards to monitoring leakage, wet-stock loss data alone is not a guarantee that the underground fuel system is leak-free. If a site has a remote/off-set fill, small leaks between the tanker connection and the tank may go unnoticed, written off as short deliveries, vapour loss or temperature shrinkage in hot product terminal areas. Annual testing of remote/off-set fills are recommended, particularly for high-volume sites.
Regular tank and fuel line testing should accompany routine inspections to minimise the risk of tank failure, fuel contamination and potentially lethal leakage. In terms of vapour recovery, specialist equipment, such as vapour recovery refiners, can save thousands of pounds per annum. A vapour recovery system converts petrol vapour into liquid fuel that would otherwise be lost to the atmosphere or removed by the road tanker. Our system is the only one on the market that can handle the large vapour flows during delivery without long periods of tank pressurisation.
Fuel security should be a priority on sites where fuel is stored and distributed. Lost fuel is an expense that the businesses that rely on it cannot afford and for forecourts in particular, we are all aware of the chaos
For more information on Adler and Allan’s specialist fuel services, click here.