A DISABLED Barrhead man was stunned to discover the council house he’d been living in for seven weeks was essentially a “death trap”.

Jim Armstrong moved to a ground floor flat on Levern Crescent, from his previous council address in Blackburn Square, for health reasons after previously suffering a stroke causing constant back pain.

But he had only been there a matter of weeks when gas engineers discovered shocking, and potentially fatal electrical wiring faults.

A fuming Mr Armstrong told the Barrhead News: “I had been in for five or six weeks not knowing that the problem was there. At that time I was very angry. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

“I could’ve been harmed because the faults hadn’t been picked up. No one had touched anything until the gas engineer found the problem.”

Mr Armstrong has this week demanded answers from all parties involved, and wants to know who was to blame for putting his life at risk.

He said: “I want to know why, when the electrics were being checked, that it wasn’t picked up.

“All the wiring was live and I could have been electrocuted.”

Last week, Mr Armstrong 48, was told by British Gas engineers that his electric meter could not be changed as the ageing wiring system was all “live”.

British Gas sealed off his electrical cupboard, slapping on danger signs and a notice saying “risk of electric shock, all pyro cables are live including sheathing within trunking”.

They labelled his system as “potentially dangerous” with the “cut out” as being “faulty” and that live parts were “exposed.”

To add to his fears, Mr Armstrong also revealed that since his move to his new home he has also suffered a flooded kitchen and a leak in his toilet.

He said: “Fortunately my electric cupboard was no where near the water.”

Scottish Power electricians were called out to his home on Thursday, November 23, but couldn’t do anything so an emergency sub contractor, IQA Solutions, was drafted in to assess it as a priority.

According to Mr Armstrong, IQA Solutions returned six days later and the following day Scottish Power replaced the meter.

Mr Armstrong, a retired heavy goods vehicle driver, said the Scottish Power electricians said the system was old and needed an upgrade.

East Renfrewshire Council has denied this, and insists electrical checks were carried out at the property on October 3 and no faults recorded.

The council also says subsequent external works by a utility company, it believes to be Scottish Power, appear to have damaged the supply cable to the block of flats.

A council spokesman said: “Prior to Mr Armstrong moving into this property our comprehensive electrical checks were carried out on October 3 and no faults were recorded.

“Following the conclusion of these checks, subsequent external work being carried out by a utility company appears to have damaged the supply cable to this block of flats. The council was not made aware of any fault until we were notified by Mr Armstrong on November 27.

“The fault was rectified the same day by the utility company, which is responsible for the cable heads found in meter cupboards within properties.”

A ScottishPower Energy Networks spokesman said: “Mr Armstrong requested his MOP (Meter Operator) exchange his prepayment meter to a credit meter. SP Energy Networks was contacted by Mr Armstrong’s MOP as they were unable to carry out work due to type of cable head on site. SP Energy Networks attended site and replaced the cable head for the work to be completed – works can now go ahead to replace the meter.”

The whole four flats in the block within Levern Crescent are to be re-wired, but this is not as essential as the emergency work done at Mr Armstrong’s house this week.