WITH fuel prices continuing to soar and thieves becoming ever more resourceful in their quest to steal “liquid gold”, Cameron Forecourt says the market is focusing more sharply than ever on tank security and accurate monitoring.
The company, which has more than 30 years’ experience in providing a complete turnkey package of services embracing the supply, installation and maintenance of fuel tank, pumps and their associated control and gauging systems, is helping customers make their tanks and stocks less vulnerable to thieves.
Not only can thieves escape with valuable fuel and cause substantial damage to installations, many are also reckless in their actions, often leaving fuel flowing when they have siphoned what they can carry.
Comments Martyn Gent, Cameron’s Sales and Marketing Manager: “There is no ‘silver bullet’ available to immediately safeguard your fuel storage installation against theft, but there are many measures which can be taken to make it that much more difficult for thieves to help themselves to your valuable assets.”
Physical deterrents such as high fences, barriers, restricted access to fuelling areas and advanced surveillance using security cameras all play their part.
One unusual installation saw a customer go for a “belt and braces” approach by having a new fuelling installation, including pump, tanks and ancillaries installed within a sea container, providing both a disguise and an extra layer of protection in one process.
It’s at the point of storage and dispensing that more subtle security can be employed using the latest developments in fuelling technology. Bunded or double-skinned tanks with discreet and protected pipework make it that much harder for thieves. Adds Martyn Gent: “One thing we do know about these people is that they are not keen on hard work and will soon be off in search of an easier goal if things begin to get difficult.”
Other deterrents include pressure regulating and anti-syphon valves which can sense and stem any unauthorised fuel flow in the pipework. Not only do these valves provide security against theft but also give added environmental protection by arresting the flow of fuel, therefore preventing pollution.
With fuel prices soaring, it is essential to efficiently and accurately monitor the level of fuel in the tanks and many installations now incorporate advanced electronic tank gauging. These extremely accurate “electronic dipsticks” not only sense fuel being drawn but also maintain an accurate record of the amount of fuel delivered by the supplier. An operator who knows exactly how much fuel goes into a tank and is recording fuel usage can more easily detect deficiencies
On its own electronic gauging is an extremely useful tool for keeping a magic eye on stocks, but by integrating it with a computerised fuel management system, it adds a totally new dimension to create an omniscient ally in the battle against theft.
Fuel Management systems traditionally provide data including fuel usage, mileage returns, driver performance and fuel costs. By integrating an electronic gauging system with a sophisticated management system such as Cameron’s Eclipse or Nova web-based system enhanced round the clock security can be provided by recognising vehicle fuelling activities outside of normal working hours, loss by sudden leakage, or use by unauthorised personnel.
Once a problem has been detected, the system is programmed to raise the alarm by sending a responsible person an immediate email or SMS text message.
“This provides a valuable early warning to alert on-site security or the police – a stitch in time could save an operator an awful lot,” adds Martyn Gent.
CAMERON FORECOURT IS EXHIBITING at FPS Expo 2011, Harrogate International Centre, April 13 & 14 and at the CV Show 2011, NEC, Birmingham, April 12-14.
CAPTION: Belts & Braces. Placing a fuel installation inside a sea container provides and extra physical “layer” of protection.
Cameron Forecourt will be exhibiting at the CV Show (Stand 4B70), NEC Birmingham, April 12-14, 2011 & at FPS Expo (Stand B50), Harrogate, also April 12-14, 2011.