Power Failure Procedures

In a brown-out or black-out condition, power failure may damage sensitive equipment or experiments. A brief period should not drastically affect the temperature in coldrooms, or in freezers. However, sensitive electronic equipment, instruments and computers should be shut down before a planned outage.

In a power failure, equipment on emergency power will have power supplied to it by the emergency generator. Circuits on emergency power will experience a brief interruption when the power fails, and again when the power to the building is restored. This may require resetting the equipment after power is restored.

Power surges caused by resuming power may damage equipment or create an unsafe condition. Please evaluate your laboratory for this situation.

Plan to be available for any experiments or operations that may be affected by a planned disruption.

Before an outage:

  • Turn off lights and equipment that do not need power.
  • Check if your coldroom is on emergency power (these are labeled). If not, move temperature sensitive materials or arrange for a dry ice delivery.
  • A disruption may damage computers, equipment or instruments with automatic resets or logic functions. Turn these off if it is not essential for continuous operation. Back up computers routinely.
  • Designate an emergency contact for the Building Manager or Coordinator, the AFO, or emergency services to contact you for information in the event of an unexpected shut down. Submit this number to the Building Coordinator @ 3-9998.
  • Identify essential equipment that requires emergency power and dedicate an emergency circuit to that piece of equipment. Contact the AFO at 3-6931 to arrange for emergency circuits or if you are unsure about your power source. In general, red colored outlets are on emergency power. Additionally, hallways and labs have light fixtures that are on emergency power. Common shared support freezers with emergency power are labeled to that effect.
  • Do not store flammable chemicals in domestic refrigerators. This may cause a dangerous condition due to generation of explosive or flammable vapors.
  • Maintain a log of equipment that must be reset, restarted or require special attention. Keep this log available. Equipment that runs unattended should be programmed to shut down safely and not restart when power returns.

When power is off

  • Ensure experiments, equipment, machinery or apparatus are stabilized or safe.
  • Cap volatile solutions in fume hoods and close the sash. Do not use dangerous solutions during the shutdown or enter areas that have storage of solutions that require mechanical ventilation.THE VLSB MUST BE EVACUATED IN A POWER OUTAGE.
  • Check equipment on emergency power to ensure that it is running properly. Do not connect items not intended to be on emergency power during a disruption period.
  • Check on items stored in coldrooms, refrigerators or freezers. Transfer to emergency coldrooms or use dry ice if needed. Dry ice can be obtained from Abel Carbonic on an emergency basis. A Purchase Order number is required. Abel's phone # for dry ice is (415)-873-4212.

After Power Outage

  • Reset or restart equipment. Ensure that equipment is returned to a safe operation mode.
  • Check air flow in hoods. If fume hoods are not exhausting do not use hazardous chemicals. Call the Safety Officer at 3-9998, the AFO at 2-6931 or Physical Plant at 2-6556
  • Check cold / environmental room set points and if necessary have the controls reset.
  • Call problems to the AFO@ 3-6931 or OPR@ 2-6556.

*Note: Under emergency power conditions the VLSB will be accessible only to emergency personnel and those entering to stabilize conditions in their lab/unit. For safety the building must be evacuated.