A council has told festive residents to remove Christmas wreaths from their front doors because they may be a fire risk.
Residents living in apartments on Whiteford Drive in Kettering, Northamptonshire, were surprised to receive a knock on the door telling them to take the decorations down.
North Northamptonshire Council said no items are allowed to be placed in communal areas, including hallways, for health and safety reasons.
Flat owner Wayne Linskey, 54, was told his wreath was a fire risk but has vowed to keep it up, accusing the local authority of “lacking common sense” and being “grinchy”.
He said: “I have not met anyone who has not just laughed when I told them. If they’ve [the council] not got better things to spend their time on and worry about then there’s too many people there.
“They are being a bit grinchy. Where is the common sense in it? There is none really.”The railway worker added his wreath would only catch fire if someone deliberately set it alight.
He has since complained to the council and has left a piece of paper on his wreath telling staff they should not remove it until the appeal is resolved.
The block of flats includes council-owned and privately-owned properties, with the local authority maintaining communal areas.
A note with the council’s logo was left on wreaths where residents were not in when a council worker visited.
It read: “This area is designated as a sterile environment, to comply with this standard this item must be removed immediately.”
Ewelina Piescinska has lived in her flat for eight years – renting from a private landlord – and said she has always had a wreath at Christmas with no issues.
The mum-of-two also said she will also be leaving it up, despite being told it must be removed.
She added: “We were told we must put decorations away because it’s a fire hazard. I couldn’t believe it. It’s ridiculous. I told my sister and she laughed.”
Other residents reacted on social media, with one commenting: “What a joke! Sounds like any excuse to dictate to their residents to me!”
Another added: “Where’s the Christmas spirit in that! A couple of wreaths aren’t going to make much of a difference in the event of a fire anyway. Ridiculous decision.”
A third put: “Bunch of Scrooges the lot of them, should we be taking our Christmas trees down too then?!”
Another said: “I owned that flat and had a wreath on my door for years the same as my neighbour so what’s changed now to previous years they take your service charge and don’t fix nothing when you ask. Kettering council are a joke.”
A North Northamptonshire Council spokesman said: “The safety of our tenants is of the utmost importance particularly in relation to fire risk and combustible materials.
“The flats in question contain some internal communal areas for which we have responsibility to make sure that no items are placed or stored there.
“This would include wreaths and any other Christmas decorations in the communal area.”