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Electrical Interruptions

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Hello RFMA Members,

We here in Dallas have been very lucky so far this summer with no days over 99 degrees. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the US has been treated to brutally hot and dangerous conditions. For some areas of the country, the high heat stressed the power grid beyond its normal capacity creating "brown outs" that lasted anywhere from a few minutes to a couple hours. Additionally, with the powerful storms generated, electrical outages have existed that can last from a few seconds to several days. Are your stores prepared to handle no electricity for several hours or days? Do you know what actions to take to keep your guests, employees and food safe? Following are brief procedures that can be utilized by restaurant managers and facilities personnel to ensure you are prepared when power is lost.

- Employee and guest safety is always the first priority. If storms are powerful, take shelter in an interior safe room, like the restrooms or even the walk in's. When weather permits, get everyone out of the building.

- Check other areas of the building for guests and/or employees that may be stuck in restrooms, storage areas, etc.

- Turn off all electrical equipment asap at its source by switching it to off or unplugging it. Don't forget to turn off the A/C's and hood exhaust and make up air fans. Ensure electrical breakers are marked accordingly for each piece of equipment and switch those off too.

- Report power outage to supervisors and other operational personnel.

- Determine if electric is out for your restaurant and/or the surrounding areas by checking with neighboring establishments.

- Contact the local utility to report outage and, if possible, get details on when they expect power to be restored.

- Keep all refrigeration equipment and walk in doors shut. Do not open unless absolutely necessary.

- Put lids on all topping stations.

- If electric is scheduled to be out for longer than 3-4 hours, transfer food from the walk in's to other stores in the area if possible. Ensure internal food temperature has not exceeded the health code requirements. Contact your supervisor for discussions.

- Note the emergency lighting system normally will last for 1 -2 hours. Ensure flashlights are available for outages that exceed this length of time. Do not use candles as there may be an unknown gas leak.

- When power has returned, go the the electrical panel and turn on equipment slowly, one at a time over several minutes which will decrease the electrical surge that will occur when power is restored. This will minimize the kilowatt demand charge.

- Go to the individual pieces of equipment and slowly turn then on or plug them in, one at a time. Wait a few minutes between each.

- Reset all time clocks accordingly.

This is a general list of action items for a power outage. Each restaurant will have additional items reuired. If not done so already in the store's disaster management plan binder, I recommend summarizing this on one page and have it handy for restaurant operations. For additional store outage information, check out the Facilities Toolkit under the Resource Library on the RFMA website.

What other items can be included?

Dover and out.

 



Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext. 3

Tags:  brown outs  electrical  electrical outage  power surges 

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Power Loss Procedures

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hello RFMA members,

It's the middle of summer which means rain is normally hard to come by but recently we have seen major rainfall in several states throughout the nation. With the powerful storms, flooding becomes a huge concern and problem, invariably producing power outages that can last from a few seconds to several days. Are your stores prepared to handle no electricity for several hours or days? Do you know what actions to take to keep your guests, employees and food safe? Following are brief procedures that can be utilized by restaurant managers and facilities personnel to ensure you are prepared when power is lost or flooding is present.

- Employee and guest safety is always the first priority. If storms are powerful, take shelter in an interior safe room, like the restrooms or even the walk in's. When weather permits, get everyone out of the building.

- If flooding is a problem, get to higher ground immediately. You should have evacuation plans in your Disaster Management Plan.

- Know the history of flooding in your store's area. Follow the weather closely and listen to future forecasts. If potentially dangerous flooding is anticipated, food may need to be transferred to another restaurant in the area where flooding is not expected. Secure the building as best as possible by sand bagging facility entrances or stuff towels under doors to minimize interior water damage.

- Turn off all electrical equipment asap at its source by switching it to off or unplugging it. Don't forget to turn off the a/c's and hood exhaust and make up air fans. Ensure electrical breakers are marked accordingly for each piece of equipment and switch those off too. Total utility shutoff to the restaurant may be needed if flooding is a concern.

- Report power outage to supervisors and other operational personnel.

- Determine if electric is out for your restaurant and/or the surrounding areas by checking with neighboring establishments.

- Contact the local utility to report outage and, if possible, get details on when they expect power to be restored.

- Keep all refrigeration equipment and walk in doors shut. Do not open unless absolutely necessary.

- Put lids on all topping stations.

- If electric is scheduled to be out for longer than 3-4 hours, transfer food from the walk in's to other stores in the area if possible. Ensure internal food temperature has not exceeded the health code requirements. Contact your supervisor for discussions.

- When power has returned, go the the electrical panel and turn on equipment slowly, one at a time over several minutes which will decrease the electrical surge that will occur when power is restored. This will minimize the kilowatt demand charge.

- Go to the individual pieces of equipment and slowly turn then on or plug them in, one at a time. Wait a few minutes between each.

- Reset all time clocks accordingly.

This is a general list of action items for power outages and flooding. Each restaurant will have additional items needed. If not done so already in the store's disaster management plan binder, I recommend summarizing this on one page and have it handy for restaurant operations.

What other items can be included?

Dover and out.

Tags:  electrical outage  power loss  power loss procedures  power restored  staging equipment turn on times 

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Power Outage

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

To RFMA members,

Here in Dallas, we've had some serious rain for the past few months. No complaints but when storms hit, I usually lose power at my house. I'm tired of constantly resetting all the clocks! Summertime is the prime time for electrical storms causing power to be lost. This made me think of what restaurants go thru when electricity is lost.  Following is a brief store procedure checklist that should be utilized when there is a power outage:

- Safety is always first. Get all guests safely out of the building, if weather permits.

- Turn off all electrical equipment immediately at its source. Make sure to turn off the hood exhaust and make up air fans.

- Determine if power is out for just your store or the surrounding area. Go outside and check to see if power is out at neighboring establishments.

- Contact local power company to report electrical loss and get a status update on when power will be restored.

- Report outage to your supervisor and other operational personnel.

- Keep all refrigeration units and walk in cooler/freezer doors shut. Do not open unless absolutely necessary.

- Close lids to topping stations.

- When power is restored, go to electrical panel and slowly switch in the individual breakers on one at a time. Wait approximately one(1) minute between breakers. This will decrease the electrical surge that will occur when power comes back on line.

- Go to individual pieces of equipment and slowly turn them on one(1) at a time. Wait about a minute between each piece of equipment.

- Reset all time clocks accordingly (signage, exterior lights, thermostats, etc.).

- Contact your supervisor if power outage lasts longer than four(4) hours.

Obviously, this list is not good for all restaurants. This can be used as a guide with other steps added for each individual location. For long outages, food safety becomes very important.

Let me know what I missed.

Stay safe !!

Dover and out.

Tags:  electrical outage  power company  power outage  store opening checklist  turning equipment off  turning on equipment 

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