Electrical Safe Work Practices 2024 NFPA 70E Online Training


Hospitality Leaders Plan for Safety and Reliability with Switchgear Maintenance

Switchgear maintenance for hotels

A comprehensive approach to switchgear maintenance will enable you to stay ahead of potential fires and property-wide, unplanned shutdowns. As your properties age, the risk of switchgear failures increases, and these failures can take your room inventory and event space offline unexpectedly. 

As a hospitality leader, you manage the pressure of maintaining customer expectations and public ratings. With so much at stake, you need a plan and an experienced partner.

Do switchgear failures happen?

A famous hotel in Miami, FL., had an unexpected switchgear failure, which caused loss of power and service interruptions. The hotel’s system and elevators could not be operated, making booking and entertaining guests virtually impossible. An intensive search was conducted to find and fly a breaker replacement overnight from California to solve the outage.

The NFPA 70B standard

There was a time when you could perform switchgear maintenance on energized equipment. That time is gone. NFPA guidelines have deemed this an unsafe work practice and provided detailed guidelines in the new NFPA 70B standard.

The standard aims to improve the safety and reliability of electrical systems in your operations, and it outlines that switchgear maintenance should be conducted at least every five years. By doing your PM proactively, you prevent costly unplanned failures and improve the reliability of your guest experiences overall! 

Getting ready

The electrical service to your hotel will need to be disconnected during your switchgear maintenance event. This critical requirement means you must prepare with high levels of planning and coordination. 

  • Depending on the number of feeders to your property, you might need to take areas of your hotel offline, affecting your ability to host guests and events for safety, comfort, and compliance reasons. 
  • IT and booking systems might need to go offline during the switchgear maintenance event; therefore, you need a plan to check guests in and out of your system. 
  • You must ensure that only required personnel and staff are on the premises to avoid near misses, unnecessary distractions, and added risks. 
  • Consider the revenue and operational expenditure implications of your planned switchgear event. 

Team and service coordination

The success of this coordinated effort greatly depends on working out scheduling and permits effectively. 

  • Well-established communication and rapport with your local utility will be vital in planning your switchgear maintenance event. 
  • Have an on-site and contractor “what if” plan to ensure you have enough crews to support this time-critical effort. 
  • A solid communication plan will let all parties know what to expect and how and when to raise concerns and requests. 
  • Your parts delivery and remanufactured component kits must be ready and on standby. 
  • You will need a plumbing and electrical plan so your employees and contractors can power their tools, light up work areas, and access the restroom.

Maximize the event

A switchgear maintenance event happens every 3-5 years and presents a unique opportunity to boost your hotel’s reliability and cleanliness. 

  • Take the opportunity to perform corrective and preventive mechanical, electrical, and plumbing maintenance (MEP).
  • If the air conditioning is not running, you can perform service and maintenance on chillers, cooling towers, and air handlers. 
  • Perform maintenance and deep cleaning of on-site restaurants, including cleaning of exhaust fans and containment systems.
  • When your facility is de-energized, you can clean and maintain assets and areas out of the public eye. 

Partner with a pro

An effectively planned and executed switchgear maintenance event requires precise planning and coordination. If adding this major project to your priority list seems overwhelming, you can always partner with a pro. We at SEAM Group can support all aspects of your switchgear maintenance, including project management, coordination, execution, and reporting. 

Our reach and experience work to your advantage: 

  • Full national and regional coverage. 
  • Compliant with NETA, NEC, OSHA, and NFPA specifications. 
  • Professional project managers. 
  • Experienced engineers and technicians perform electrical power system testing and maintenance. 
  • Strategic partnerships with switchgear remanufacturers to provide vintage or obsolete component kits to support maintenance events.
  • Unique web-based data reporting and archiving system with ViewPoint.

Optional switchgear services:

  • Engineer and install infrared windows
  • Engineer and install arc flash relays
  • Current transformer (CT) installation
  • Equipment upgrades
  • Assemble unique spare part kits for PM events
  • Confirm that as-built switchgear matches customer drawings
Make switchgear maintenance a critical piece of your holistic asset management program today. Let’s talk!

Call 866.772.6770 for more information.

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