Wheelchair poses fire risk, woman, 91, told... and so do pot plants and cats

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Housing bosses told 91-year-old Doris Turner she may have to move out of her flat in a row over where she stores her wheelchair Housing bosses told 91-year-old Doris Turner she may have to move out of her flat in a row over where she stores her wheelchair

Housing bosses have told Doris Turner, 91, she may have to move out because she can no longer store her wheelchair in the hallway of the block where she lives as it is a fire risk.

And another resident was told to get rid of his pet cats for the same reason.

Mrs Turner owns her flat in an apartment block managed by housing company GreenSquare Group in Pound Close, Lyneham. 

But she has to leave her collapsible wheelchair in the hall because she lives on the first floor.

Last month all the residents in the block of flats were asked to clear out their belongings from the communal areas, including the halls, following a fire risk assessment made under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

If the items were not removed from the communal spaces, they were told they would be removed and disposed of.

Mrs Turner’s wheelchair fits neatly into a space under the stairs, which nobody uses, but when she spoke to GreenSquare about leaving her wheelchair in the hall because she was unable to move it into her flat, she was told that she would have to move it or face moving out.

She said: “I phoned them up and I asked her ‘what about my wheelchair?’ and she said I would have to move out of my flat. She said that I would have to speak to the council about it. I was upset when she said that. It’s my flat and I have been here since 1972.

“I didn’t like the way she spoke to me. She wasn’t rude but she was just sharp. I know it’s my choice to live on the first floor but I say it’s my exercise, walking up and down the stairs.”

GreenSquare neighbourhood manager Jan Morse said: “We understand the frustrations of the residents at Pound Close and, where there are individual needs, we will work with residents to identify possible solutions outside of the communal areas.

"In this instance, we have offered to work with Mrs Turner to assess her needs and are discussing the possibility of creating additional safe storage areas, which conform to both building and safety regulations.”

Neighbour, Penny McCuskey, 66, was furious when she found out Mrs Turner had been told she might have to move out.

She said: “It’s ridiculous what they have told us is a fire risk. We had to get rid of the pot plants along the window sill because they are a fire risk. Are the firemen climbing up the walls now?”

Another resident, Philip Dunn, 36, was also shocked that he was told he would have to get rid of his pet cats because they also posed a fire risk.

Mr Dunn said: “They said that I had to get rid of the cats because they are a fire risk.

“People all over the country own pets and have them in their homes. I don’t know how they could pose a fire risk at all.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:54am Thu 6 Mar 14

Manxter says...

Cats? Don't know about them, but I caught my Dachsund rubbing two sticks together in the lounge - he was out the very next day.
Cats? Don't know about them, but I caught my Dachsund rubbing two sticks together in the lounge - he was out the very next day. Manxter
  • Score: 8

12:16pm Thu 6 Mar 14

saferroads says...

Another jobsworth frightening people I would ask exactly what in the regulations say that a Cat or House plant on the window sill is a Fire risk also ask for a breakdown of this act. As looking at the act on line it seems to refer to employees and employers are the residents employees.
Another jobsworth frightening people I would ask exactly what in the regulations say that a Cat or House plant on the window sill is a Fire risk also ask for a breakdown of this act. As looking at the act on line it seems to refer to employees and employers are the residents employees. saferroads
  • Score: 7

8:16pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Old retired bloke says...

Like this and similar H&S legislation it is open to interpretation. It seems in this case someone has interpreted it too literally. Hopefully the neighbourhood manager will sort it out and the other individual concerned will be sent on an appropriate training course.
Like this and similar H&S legislation it is open to interpretation. It seems in this case someone has interpreted it too literally. Hopefully the neighbourhood manager will sort it out and the other individual concerned will be sent on an appropriate training course. Old retired bloke
  • Score: 6

9:01pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Fluffy peppa says...

This story highlights welfare concerns regarding Mrs Turner.
She is 91 years old, this has been dealt with in a robust, blunt, rude manner.
Leave the lady in peace, let her park her wheelchair under the stairs, the stress could easily have an impact on her health.

Jobs worths on a mission to upset our elderly members of society, poorly managed & poorly handled.

I know of Mrs Turner from living in Lyneham for many years, she is a lovely community spirited & kind hearted lady.

Anyone got comments on how we could assist Mrs Turner please?
Thank you.
This story highlights welfare concerns regarding Mrs Turner. She is 91 years old, this has been dealt with in a robust, blunt, rude manner. Leave the lady in peace, let her park her wheelchair under the stairs, the stress could easily have an impact on her health. Jobs worths on a mission to upset our elderly members of society, poorly managed & poorly handled. I know of Mrs Turner from living in Lyneham for many years, she is a lovely community spirited & kind hearted lady. Anyone got comments on how we could assist Mrs Turner please? Thank you. Fluffy peppa
  • Score: 11

10:37pm Fri 7 Mar 14

politepanda says...

Manxter wrote:
Cats? Don't know about them, but I caught my Dachsund rubbing two sticks together in the lounge - he was out the very next day.
You should have an "elf an' safety! warning slapped across your forehead! Nearly drowned in my coffee - still laughing!
[quote][p][bold]Manxter[/bold] wrote: Cats? Don't know about them, but I caught my Dachsund rubbing two sticks together in the lounge - he was out the very next day.[/p][/quote]You should have an "elf an' safety! warning slapped across your forehead! Nearly drowned in my coffee - still laughing! politepanda
  • Score: 3

10:53am Sat 8 Mar 14

kimcrawley says...

Ask Wiltshire Fire Brigade to carry out an inspection, this will expose the decision to declare a wheelchair stowed away under the stairs as dangerous, as utter nonsense.
This is a gross misinterpretation of the regulations.
Ask Wiltshire Fire Brigade to carry out an inspection, this will expose the decision to declare a wheelchair stowed away under the stairs as dangerous, as utter nonsense. This is a gross misinterpretation of the regulations. kimcrawley
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree