A disabled man has slammed orders to remove his mobility scooter from outside his home - claiming that moving it inside could turn his flat into a ‘death trap’.
Stuart Goodram, 67, and his neighbours at Oban Place were told by Blackpool Council to remove all items from outside their homes - or risk having them confiscated - due to fears they could cause a fire hazard.
But Mr Goodram, who suffers from arthritis, diabetes and heart problems, says moving his mobility scooter into his small flat would pose an even greater risk.
He said: “We got letters stating that everybody had to remove their items, and if they’re not removed within seven days they would come and take them, and charge us to get them back.
“I have nowhere else to keep my scooter except outside my front door. If I put it inside, I would have nowhere to escape if there was a fire inside the flat.
“It doesn’t cause any problems. I’ve had a kitchen fire in the past and it didn’t stop the fire brigade then, so I think it’s all wrong.
“If I had to bring it into my only fire escape, it would be a death trap for me. If I had a fire or a heart attack, it would cause a big problem for the emegency services. It’s a big scooter.”
He said he had approached the fire service for advice following the letter from Blackpool Council.
A Lancashire fire service spokesman said: “We did go to the flat. Our advice has been that, because the flat is so small, the mobility scooter can’t ge kept in the property, but also that the ideal location to set the scooter would be away from the building, so we have advised that (Mr Goodram) should speak to Blackpool Coastal Housing about a solution that works for the both of them.”
John Donnellon, chief executive of Blackpool Coastal Housing, said: “BCH have reminded all tenants of the need to keep shared areas in blocks of flats free from obstructions which could cause problems in the event of fire.
“We take the safety of all of our tenants seriously and will not compromise that approach. We have seen the tragic consequences of fires in communal blocks and want to ensure resident and tenant safety is always put first.
“Tenants have been reminded of their responsibilities and given time to remove obstructions and make alternative arrangements.
“BCH staff are always available to assist tenants and have tried to contact Mr Goodram to discuss the matter.”