Utility Shutdowns




To outline the policies, responsibilities and procedures for
scheduling utility shutdowns for facilities at the University
of Delaware.


  • POLICY  
    • To properly operate and maintain the facilities at the University
       of Delaware it periodically becomes necessary to shut down utilities
       for repairs, preventative maintenance, modifications and improvements.
       It is recognized that shutdowns pose potential operational problems
       for the occupants of the buildings. The policies here are aimed
       at minimizing these problems by clearly establishing the procedures
       for scheduling shutdowns. 
    • To facilitate the timely communication of scheduled utility
       shutdowns, the following policies shall be adhered to:  
    • Each University department shall assign a primary and a secondary
      "Facilities Contact". The primary Facilities Contact
       (or the secondary in the absence of the primary) will be the
       individual with whom the Facilities Department will coordinate
       utility shutdowns. It is the responsibility of each department
       to inform the Facilities Operations Center, via electronic mail
       to FIX-IT, of the identity of these contacts for their 
       department and if these assigned individuals change. 
    • Where practical, one individual will be assigned for the
       entire building to maintain the building's mailing list, which
       is a public mailing list on the System. For buildings with
       multiple departments, the individual maintaining the mailing
       list should normally be from the largest department. This individual
       is responsible for keeping the buildings notification mailing
       list current. All other departments will provide this designated
       sponsor of the building's public mailing list with the names
       of the individuals from their department that are to be included
       on the list. The Facilities Operations Center shall be informed,
       via electronic mail addressed to FIX-IT, of who is the 
       designated individual for each building and if this assigned individual 
    • The Manager of the Facilities Administration Operations Center
       is responsible for implementation of the notification procedure,
       and is the point of contact for scheduling utility shutdowns.       
    • The following procedure governs planned utility shutdowns:     
    • Any organization or department requiring a shutdown of a
      utility servicing a University of Delaware facility must first
      contact the Manager of HVAC Services to discuss the nature of
      the shutdown, and the implication to other building systems.
      The requestor and the Manager of HVAC Services will subsequently
      confer and coordinate with other shop managers as required. At
      this point, it will be decided what the extent of the outage
      or shutdown will be and what, if any, assistance is required
      from Facilities Management Operations & Maintenance personnel.
      The shutdown notification will be processed by the Operations
      Center when they receive the approved request from the Manager
      of HVAC Services. 
    • Any organization requiring the shutdown of a utility servicing
      a University of Delaware facility must provide a request for
      scheduling to the Manager of the Facilities Administration Operations
      Center no later than five (5) full working days prior to the
      proposed outage. The following information is required for scheduling:   
        • affected facilities/buildings
        • affected utility(ies)
        • reason for shutdown
        • desired time of shutdown (dates and times of commencement
          of the utility shutdown and of completion of the utility restoration)
        • extent of impact shutdown will have on building (entire,
          partial, etc.)


When possible, shutdowns should be scheduled during other than
normal working hours.


A "Utility Outage Request Form" has been created on the web at
for use in communicating these requests.  
     • The Operations Center will make notification of the outage
        request to the Facilities Contact for each of the departments
        occupying the affected building(s). This notification typically
        will be made via telephone on the same day as the receipt of
        the scheduling request. 
     • The Department Facilities Contact shall provide the Operations
        Center with their department's concurrence on the proposed schedule,
        or an alternative schedule with justification, within two (2)
        full working days of receipt of the request. The Facilities Administration
        Operations Center will distribute a utility shutdown notification
        message via the building mailing list no later than two (2) full
        working days prior to the scheduled shutdown.   
     • Two other types of utility shutdowns, unplanned shutdowns
        and emergency shutdowns, require different action:   
     • Unplanned shutdowns would result from previously unknown
        conditions or situations requiring urgent attention and making
        the normal notification procedure impractical. In these cases,
        each department's Facilities Contact will be notified as soon
        as possible of the impending shutdown in parallel with the distribution
        of the notification via the building mailing list.
     • Emergency shutdowns would result in a condition requiring
        immediate action to prevent injury to personnel or significant
        facilities damage and will typically not allow prior notification
        to the building occupants. Information concerning the shutdown
        will be forwarded to the Facilities Contacts for each affected
        building via telephone as soon as possible, followed by an e-mail
        message addressed to the building mailing list.    
    • Shutdowns of natural gas systems within buildings pose some
       unique safety problems due to the flammable/explosive nature
       of natural gas and, therefore, the following additional policies
       are established. These requirements also apply to contractors
       performing work for the University, and it is the responsibility
       of the contracting University organization to ensure contractor
    • Notification of natural gas shutdowns will be made in accordance with

       the procedure described above with two additional requirements:          
    • The notification message will identify the Facilities Administration
       Operations Center as the central location for reporting gas odors
       in a building.
    • The Manager of Electrical Services shall be informed of the
       outage schedule to make arrangements for alternate emergency
       power generation as necessary.     
    • Only individuals from the Facilities management Plumbing
       Services division are authorized to shut off or restore the natural
       gas supply to a building. The natural gas must be shut off at
       the meter location for the entire building. 
    • Provisions must be made for adequate forced ventilation from
       the work area to the building exterior. 
    • The work area must be monitored continuously for flammable/explosive
       concentrations of hydrocarbons.  
    • Work or operation of equipment which produces a flame or
       spark is prohibited in the immediate area of the natural gas
       system work. 
    • Upon completion of the work, Plumbing Services personnel
       shall conduct a half-hour meter test during the restoration of
       natural gas to the building to verify expected gas flow and system
    • The Facilities Administration Operations Center will then
       be notified of the satisfactory completion of the meter test,
       by the mechanic performing the restoration via radio or telephone
       immediately upon completion of the test.   
    • Impairment of fire protection/life safety systems must be
       performed in accordance with University Policy 7-7 and State
       Fire Prevention regulations in lieu of this procedure.