September 25, 2022

Grinch care home tells nans to throw away Christmas wreaths or get fined £120 for fire hazard

Residents of care homes for the aged have been threatened with fines of £120 if they fail to take down Christmas decorations.

Hyde Housing said they would charge anyone with a wreath on their front door or a Christmas tree in the hallway, saying it was a ‘fire hazard’.

The housing association, which residents called “worse than Scrooge”, said it could not find the “culprit” and would split the cost among all residents.

The letter from Hyde Housing property manager Emma Oliver said: ‘We have a legal duty to ensure that all communal areas are free of obstructions [including trip hazards] and fire hazards.

“Christmas decorations and door wreaths are not permitted as they are considered highly combustible.

Brian Goldsack, John Allan, Wilhelmina Rijshouver and David Geoghegan knocked on Hyde Housing

“I will attend the removal team and if the items are still there, I will have them removed and the cost of the move will be reloaded at the block if I cannot find out who these materials belong to.

“The cost of these removals is estimated to be £120. We will charge this to the block or individual we know who it is.”

But David Geoghegan, 69, who lives at Joseph Conrad House in Canterbury, told Kent Online the threat was “heavy”.

Christmas tinsel
Christmas wreaths are a ‘fire hazard’ says housing association

He said: “Residents spoke of how upsetting the letters were, and many of us felt it was unwarranted and heavy.

“It’s Christmas and there’s no goodwill in this. The threat of sending people to take down Christmas trees and wreaths – we don’t need that, and we’re really upset.

“I don’t see how a wreath is a fire hazard because millions of people have them.”

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Another resident, John Allan, 72, also doesn’t understand how wreaths are a fire hazard, “unless someone comes and sets them on fire”.

He said: “I came here because it was an individual life, so you can go on with your own life, but whatever is done is inspected and complained about.

“It’s not a very happy environment at all. Some of the women who live here are quite upset about the whole situation.”