Services Guide - E

Electrical Outages

Electric Circuit Breaker

In complying with State and federal safety regulations, our employees who work on electrical circuits must do more than simply switch off the affected circuit breaker when replacing a defective light switch or wall receptacle. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has issued a lock out/tag out (LOTO) standard requiring padlocks, tags and other devices to be placed on any circuit breaker once the current has been switched off so that another person couldn't unknowingly re-energize the circuit breaker while the mechanic is working.

LOTO devices will be used on individual circuit breakers for all routine work, whenever a circuit breaker must be switched off, such as replacing switches, receptacles, exhaust fans, direct-wired garbage disposals, light fixtures, exit signs, etc.


  Multiple Room Outages
Some of our buildings which have not recently been renovated have circuit breakers that control the power to portions of more than one bedroom. To work on a defective receptacle in one room often means the power will need to be interrupted to outlets in two or three other rooms. We will attempt to notify the residents of the affected rooms by knocking on room doors before killing the power to any outlet; that may not always be possible. We regret the inconvenience caused by our building's wiring plan when power needs to be disrupted in bedrooms other than the one we are working in.
  Floor-wide Outages
Power Outage Notification Somewhere, at least once each academic year, a circuit breaker in a circuit breaker panel is found to be defective and must be replaced. In this instance, the power to the entire circuit breaker panel must be turned off to allow the mechanic to remove the defective breaker and install a new breaker. While the procedure only takes a few minutes, it will require that all resident rooms on that end of the floor served by the breaker panel will lose electricity.

If a breaker must be replaced that day, our staff will do what is reasonable to notify all residents on the floor before the power is interrupted. If a breaker must be switched off immediately, no advance warning is likely. When a mechanic can determine they can return at a future time or date, the following sign will be placed on the affected floor announcing the scheduled outage.

  Realistically, since the majority of in-room power outages are caused by utility disruptions not associated with a mechanic working on a circuit breaker panel, residents will rarely see these signs used for advance notice of scheduled electrical work.


Our elevators are mechanically sound, meet or exceed applicable codes, but need to stand up to intense usage daily. At the present time, we are fortunate that we have an extremely responsive elevator maintenance contractor.

When an elevator breaks down or stops between floors, people inside the car can use the phone in the elevator panel to directly connect to our x4-WORK staff. Facilities Management or elevator contractor staff will be dispatched to let the people out.

In 1996, we completed the final phase of a four year $3,000,000 renovation of all elevators. All new controls and car dispatching systems were installed, along with push buttons and indicator lights, new car interiors, and other features that improve the operation of each building's original equipment. All North Campus elevators now have a monitor in the lobby showing the exact location and direction of travel for each elevator in the building.