RESIDENTS in Walrond Court in Ilminster were outraged last week after their doormats were taken away.

Nick Britton, one of the residents who lives in the apartments owned by Abri, said he thought someone had stolen the mats.

"We thought someone had stolen them and were concerned people had broken in," he said.

"We soon found out staff at Abri took them away due to health and safety concerns, but I think it's pathetic - I only bought mine a few weeks ago."

Abri have said they removed the doormats because they were a "trip hazard".

“Customer safety is always our priority and we work with fire authorities to understand the best ways to take care of our customers," said Michelle Dawson, director of housing and community investment at Abri.

"While a doormat might not seem like an obvious fire risk, it’s really important to keep communal areas clear of any trip hazards or combustible items.

“We understand it’s frustrating to have personal items removed, so we only do this as a last resort.

"We regularly remind customers to keep communal areas clear and we wrote to everyone at Walrond Court at the start of the year.

"Also, after spotting several doormats during recent routine safety checks, we asked individual customers to remove their doormat."

The company have said they will be returning the doormats to the residents this week - but will be asking them to put the mats inside their apartments instead.