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Office of Emergency Management Utility Problem

Utility Problem




WSU Departments will perform an annual, at minimum, facilities preventative maintenance and will communicate this inspection with Facility Operations.

  • Facility Operations can assist with establishing a preventative maintenance plan for each college, school, or department.


Have a go kit available with a light source (Flashlight or similar)

Make sure egress lighting is functioning properly.


Identify utility cutoff switches/valves and who can operate them. Coordinate with Facility Operations for pre-planning of response incidents.


Facilities Dispatch 509-335-9000

Call 9-1-1 (Emergency); 5-9000 (non-Emergency).

In the event of extended utility loss (power, water, sewage, etc.) to a facility, certain precautionary measure should be taken depending on the geographical location and environment of the facility:

  • Evacuate the building if necessary.
    • Lab hood ventilation is lost.
    • Power is lost.
  • Contact Facilities Dispatch (509-335-9000) to report the problem.
  • Ensure the backup generator has started.
  • Find a flashlight, some are available in hallways throughout the building and in most rooms. Or use your cellphone or other device to illuminate your path.
  • Aid people in your immediate area. Those personnel with flashlights should assist with escorting other people to safety.
  • If stuck in an elevator, use the elevator intercom to request assistance.
    • Remain calm.
    • Call out for help if the intercom does not work.
    • DO NOT attempt to exit the elevator without emergency responders present.
  • Be prepared to provide fire monitors if occupancy is permitted during a utility outage.
  • Building re-entry:
    • If the building DOES NOT have a backup generator, and the life safety/fire detection system is not powered, a Fire Watch must be implemented if the building is to be re-occupied while the power is out. A Fire Watch must:
      • Be competent to identify fire hazards.
      • Be able to communicate to the fire department if the response is needed.
      • Be familiar with the structure and emergency plan.
      • Perform patrols every 15 minutes to look for instances of fire.
      • Keep a log sheet; Peron’s name, time each activity was conducted, description of activity.
  • If the building has a backup generator that powers life safety/fire detection systems, confirm the generator is running and re-occupy the building.
  • If the building has laboratory hoods, contact WSU Environmental Health and Safety for habitability evaluation prior to any building occupancy.


  • Electronic equipment should be brought up to ambient temperature before energizing to prevent condensate from forming on circuitry.
  • Fire and portable water piping should be checked for leaks from freeze damage after the heat has been restored to the facility and water turned back on. (Depending on the exterior temperature)