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December 2015

Issue 39

Scheme Company Partner, Penmilne Electrical Contractors, has spoken of one of its

recent projects which clearly demonstrated a commitment to best practice.

Penmilne’s spark

of ingenuity!

The electrical specialist, who

scooped a 2015 Gold National

Company Award, was contacted

by client St Albans City and District

Council following an explosion at

its Telford Court block of flats in St


During the May Bank Holiday

weekend, a blast occurred within

the main riser in the dry riser

cupboard at Telford Court in St

Albans, leaving most of the 60 flats

without electricity or water.

Thanks to Penmilne’s efficient and

timely reaction to the incident,

which left both lifts out of action,

emergency assistance was provided

to affected residents throughout

the day, with Penmilne providing

hot drinks, LED torches and bottled


Explaining the emergency situation,

Penmilne’s Client Services Manager,

Beverley Fletcher said: “St Albans

council contacted Penmilne asking

if it was at all possible to assist them

due to an explosion within the riser

within the dry riser cupboard.

“The emergency contractor

currently on site was unable to deal

with the issue and the whole block,

consisting of 60 flats, was without


“Penmilne sent their Resident

Liaison Officers (RLOs) to Telford

Court who were familiar with the

site and were able to identify the

most vulnerable residents and

provide immediate assistance while

repairs were carried out.

“The RLO team quickly arranged a

small camping stove and kettle to

provide hot drinks for vulnerable

residents. Snack foods were also

provided and hot water for one

resident to enable her to make up

baby bottles.”

As a safety precaution, the

Penmilne electrical team

immediately arranged temporary

emergency lighting, illuminating

the staircase with units fed from an

alternative power source.

Generators were also provided

on site as a backup. Meanwhile

Penmilne identified the fault and

enabled a partial electricity supply

until the defect had been rectified

and tested.

Beverley said: “Red Cross assistance

was provided for residents due

to lack of power and water, and a

police presence was also required

to allay resident tensions and

provide security as the door entry

system was inoperable.

“Residents were offered alternative

overnight accommodation while

Penmilne’s RLOs continued to

provide support and assistance to

vulnerable residents.”

She added: “Before leaving site late

that night, Penmilne staff linked

the communal fuse board to ensure

lighting to all areas, as well as

making safe all other services and

arranging for additional specialists

to attend site the following


Support continued throughout

the following day while Penmilne

specialists worked on the fault,

identifying loose connections,

replacing damaged cables and

testing the renewed supply.