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Bike News  |  by Lauren Holton

You’ve bought a mobility scooter, but where will you store it?


Asgard secure mobility scooter storage

We’re in a world with an ageing population and mobility equipment ensures their continued independence, as they get even older. In 2013, a study by RICA suggested that there were over 350,000 scooters in the UK. The aforementioned figure has been growing at over 100,000 per year, putting today’s figure at a minimum 750,000 scooters!

 

RICA (formerly Ricability) is the trading name of the national research charity Research Institute for Consumer Affairs. Their extensive research into mobility scooters suggests there are a number of risks and issues associated with buying and owning these pieces of equipment. These issues include:

  • Assessment - is enough help given to choose a suitable scooter and assess suitability and safe usage e.g. eyesight tests?

  • Training - are there enough educational material and certifications available, particularly for road users?

  • Design/build quality including safety/ technical specification standards - how can we ensure vehicles are kept roadworthy and second-hand products are safe?

  • Storage - keeping mobility scooters in places that don’t interfere with the health and safety of the general public.

Asgard takes scooter storage seriously. Mobility scooters are not only a big investment, but they are also, unfortunately,  targets for thieves. They also pose other risks when storing and charging them.

 

According to BRE, the world leading authority on all aspects of the built environment, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to storing a mobility scooter safely.

 

“As well as the potential obstruction to escape, there is now a clear and increasing body of evidence to show that mobility scooters present a fire risk in themselves, often while charging, which can result in the production of quantities of smoke and heat.” - BRE Group.

 

So, what are all the issues raised when looking at storing a mobility scooter?

  • Theft

    • A mobility scooter is an investment. Averaging at around £400 for a basic model and over £4000 for top of the range. Unfortunately, thieves prey on the vulnerable.Those fortunate enough to own a mobility scooter can find themselves exposed to the threat of theft if it is not stored securely.

 

  • Weather Resistance

    • Most scooters are basically weatherproof because they have been designed for riding around in all conditions. However, if continually exposed to heavy rain or snow conditions when stationary, mobility scooters can start to deteriorate aesthetically. They can even experience technical issues and break down.

 

  • Fire Risk

    • Mobility scooters are a battery powered machine and as such they can pose a risk of fire. Recognising the need for a better understanding of the fire risks from mobility scooters, the BRE Trust and Welwyn Garden City Housing Association (WGC HA) jointly funded a project to examine the characteristics of burning mobility scooters in May 2015. They concluded that “It is evident that a fire involving mobility scooters, within the confines of a corridor or stairway, will create a substantial risk to occupants since the smoke and heat will make such routes impassable and put at risk any occupants who open their doors.” - BRE

 

  • Fire Regulations

    • Fire regulations control how a building is managed. These regulations require fire sterile common areas, which are basically corridors free from combustible materials and trip hazards. These rules are enforced by the RRO and the Housing Act, which means that local authorities, private landlords and homeowners should all be conscious of storing items in communal or shared areas, when living in flats and apartments. With this in mind, outdoor mobility scooter storage is something that can prove very useful.

 

  • Accessibility

    • Being able to access your scooter is crucial for someone who wants to maintain their independence. Ensuring that you have a storage facility with a ramp makes certain that you can ride your scooter into the storage area and secure it by yourself.

Your storage should be outdoors and a suitable distance from the home as to not cause a risk of fire, but close enough to meet accessibility requirements.

The simple solution to many of these problems would be to invest in secure, weatherproof storage that is tailor-made to house mobility scooters of all kinds.

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