A.  In the event of a minor or major power failure occurring during regular working hours (8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., summer hours 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday), immediately notify Facilities at 806-651-2133 and University Police Department at 806-651-2300. After business hours, notify University Police Department. They will instruct you as to what you are to do during the power failure.

B.  If there is potential danger to building occupants, or if the power failure occurs after hours, weekends or holidays, notify University Police Department.

C.  If a blackout occurs without warning:

  1. Turn off all light switches. The voltage may fluctuate and damage any lights that are on.
  2. Set all equipment and appliance switches to the OFF position. This is to protect against kicking out the circuit breakers, blowing fuses, or damaging equipment when the full surge or current hits as the power comes back on.
  3. Take measures to protect your equipment or experiments. Remember that air operated controls and water pressure may be affected.
  4. Extinguish all flames in laboratory buildings.
  5. Increase ventilation by opening windows. If the failure lasts more than a few minutes, it will be necessary to evacuate persons from darkened areas (restroom, stairwells, or other areas with no windows or natural lighting).
  6. To prevent the Physical Plant service desk from being overwhelmed with calls, only building administrators should report power outages. Physical Plant may be able to estimate the duration of the power failure. If the failure is to be lengthy, administrators will decide on continued operations in their building. Laboratory buildings may have to be evacuated shortly after a blackout to minimize risks to personnel resulting from inoperative fume hoods.
  7. Report all persons trapped in elevators to University Police Department 806-651-2300.
  8. If it becomes necessary to evacuate the premises during a blackout, be sure to protect all valuables and make sure that all equipment is safe when the power comes back on.

D.  During periods of very heavy power usage, the area utility company may have to reduce voltage. This is commonly called a "BROWNOUT" and may occur during periods of high air conditioner usage. In the event of a brownout, the following steps should be taken.

  1. Turn off all lights and equipment not necessary for safe operation.
  2. Turn off all window air conditioners. Central air conditioning may have to be shut down. However, general ventilation will be maintained in centrally air-conditioned buildings at diminished levels.
  3. Identify equipment which may be sensitive to low voltage, and take positive steps to prevent its damage.
  4. Full cooperation during a brownout is extremely important. Such cooperation may possibly prevent the loss of all electrical power.


E.  If an emergency exists, activate the building alarm. CAUTION: You must also report the emergency by phone to University Police Department at 806-651-2300.

F.  All building evacuations or localized evacuations will occur when an alarm sounds continuously and/or when an emergency occurs.

G.  Take purses, and lock office doors upon leaving. Walk; do not run to the nearest stairway exit. If you are disabled, yell for help to go down stairs.

H.  When there is a power failure, do not use the elevator. It may become inoperative and a trap.

I.  Assist disabled persons in exiting the building. If these persons are unable to use the stairs, assist them to a stairwell where they will remain. University Police Department officers on the scene where these persons are. They will assist them in evacuating the building.

J.  Evacuate to a distance of at least 500 feet from the building and out of the way of emergency personnel. Do not return to the building until instructed to do so by University Police Department officers.

K.  A University Police Department officer will respond with the appropriate authorities to evaluate the situation and to supervise an evacuation or appropriate action.

L.  The University Police Department dispatcher will initiate the proper notification procedure for contacting appropriate personnel when a power failure occurs on or near campus.

M.  At present, campus building lighting may not provide sufficient illumination in corridors and stairs for safe exiting. It is therefore advisable to have a flashlight and portable radios available for emergencies.


University Police Department - 806-651-2300
Physical Plant - 806-651-2133
Police, Fire Company, Ambulance - 911