ELECTRIC wheelchair users have complained of getting static electric shocks at a popular shopping centre.

Those using so-call power wheelchairs have been experiencing the shocks while in Churchill Square Shopping Centre in Brighton.

Orlanda and Marissa Tasker, twin sisters, 15, pictured, from Bexhill Road, Brighton, are two who have complained of getting shocks when they touch anything after driving around.

Mum Sharon Tasker said: “The worst place the girls get shocks is when they are playing indoor sport.”

Sonny Bluck, 15, from Tamplin Terrace, Brighton, has also been getting shocks in the centre.

He said: “There’s a clothes shop in town which is the worst. When I press the button for the lift I nearly jump out of my chair.”

It is not just lift buttons that cause a shock, but anything the driver touches once enough static charge has built up, even if it is another person.

A power wheelchair expert said the problem was quite common, although he added it does not happen with all chairs.

He said: “As the wheels roll across certain types of flooring, static can build up the same way as if you rub a balloon on a jumper.

“The shocks can sometimes be bit uncomfortable, especially after the wheelchair user drives around for a while without discharging the static, but I have never known it to be dangerous.”

The solution, he added, is to fit earthing strips, such as those for cars, which discharge any static into the ground.

Arlo Kearns, nine, from Hove has discovered that the further he drives before touching anything, the more static electricity builds up.

He told The Argus how he has used this knowledge to chase his little brother Floyd, six.

He said: “By the time I get to HMV there’s enough static built up to give Floyd a small shock if I can catch him.”

A spokeswoman for Churchill Square said: “Thank you for drawing this to our attention. We were unaware of this problem and are going to look into it.”