Understand Utility Failure: 

A utility failure is any disruption in the services necessary for the safe and proper operation of a building, including: electricity, water, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, telephone, internet, and water utilities. A utility failure may be widespread or limited to a specific building or area within a building.

Types of Utility Failure
Pipe Icon Elevator Icon
Water Leak Elevator Failure
Gas Leak Icon Power Cut Icon
Gas Leak  Power Outage

Before a Utility Failure: 

Emergency Lighting and Egress: Not all university facilities areas are equipped with emergency lighting or illuminated emergency exit signs. If you work in an area with no emergency lighting, the department/office should consider purchasing a battery or wind-up powered flashlights. Also, know how to get out of a building using different exits.

Equipment and Data Protection: All sensitive equipment should be connected to a fusible power strip or surge protector. Some equipment may require an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system to ensure that it does not sustain damage, lose valuable data, or power down through a routine or emergency shutdown sequence. Set up computers to frequently auto-save data and utilize shared drives.

Sanitation: To maintain sanitary conditions, restrooms must not be used if there is a disruption in water service. Consider using antiseptic wipes or waterless hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands. These items can be kept in the office in case of an emergency water service outage.


During a Utility Failure:
All Utility Failure 

Report: Depending on the utility failure call Facility Services at (940) 397-4228 or MSU PD at (940) 397-4239. 

Move: If severe enough and there is a potential danger to life safety, a building evacuation might be necessary. If instructed to do so the building's fire alarm system will be activated. When evacuating, move quickly to the nearest exit and leave the building. Once outside, stand at least 150 feet away from the building and keep walkways and roads clear for emergency vehicles. 

Stay: If it is unsafe to exit the building, relocate to an area with sufficient ambient light to avoid injury, such as a lobby or conference room with windows. 

Never: If a building is evacuated due to a utility failure, the building may not be reoccupied until a university official determines that the building is safe for re-occupancy 

Monitor: Labs and food freezers/refrigerators should be kept closed, and the temperature is monitors and recorded every hour through the power outages.


Utility Specific Failure

Electrical/Light Failure: Most campus buildings are equipped with an emergency lighting system (will activate within 10 seconds of electrical failure). These lights will provide enough illumination in main corridors and stairways to safely exit. If a prolonged electrical failure occurs, Labs and food freezers/refrigerators should be kept closed, and the temperature is monitored and recorded every hour through the power outages.

Elevator Failure: All campus elevators are equipped with emergency phones that contact directly to University Police. Never try and exit an elevator that is stuck between floors. Wait until emergency responders ensure it is safe to exit.  

Plumbing Failure/Flooding: In cases where electrical equipment is affected, including elevators. Notify your supervisor and vacate the area. Make sure no one uses the elevators. 

Ventilation Failure: If smoke or burning smells coming from the ventilation, report it to MSU Police and activate the building fire alarm, and evacuate. 

Gas Leak: If the smell of rotten egg is present in the building, cease all operations immediately and evacuate the area and building. Do not switch lights on or off lights or take time to open windows or close doors. Call MSU PD after you are outside and at a safe distance.

After a Utility Failure: 

Many life safety systems (i.e., fire suppression and alarm systems, security systems, and emergency lighting) are dependent upon the proper operation of utilities to function. Utility outages demand that all activities within the affected spaces be suspended until utilities are restored.

Whenever a power outage or utility failure affects your work area and extends beyond one hour, contact your supervisor or instructor to coordinate a modified schedule if necessary. Supervisors can consider temporary informal telework arrangements, making alternate work arrangements for the duration of the outage, or university leave if necessary. Instructors should consider postponing or canceling classes whenever a utility failure or power outage is expected for the duration of the class. Laboratory classes and laboratory research activities may not be held whenever a power outage or major utility failure occurs.

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