View Full Version : Shutting down the lights for an entire building/floor

12-08-2010, 12:35 AM
Say my characters are in a building (say three stories or whatever) and they need to shut down all the lights for the building, or even just for one floor of that building. Is there a way to do this? One of my characters is good with electronics and all that stuff, so skills aren't a problems, though tools are. They have no fancy tools.

Help? :P

Drachen Jager
12-08-2010, 12:41 AM
If you know where the circuit breaker box is it's easy.

Normally they're locked and in a locked maintenance room, but it's not that hard to break a padlock off and kick the door in. The main problem is that most buildings will have battery back-up lighting. That will kick in when the power goes off. They'd need to pre-plan and cut the wires on all the battery lights before cutting the power (could be weeks before, it's not like anyone looks at those things other than once every year or two when they're inspected).

12-08-2010, 01:55 AM
Actually you don't even have to find the fuse box. The meter, which is on the outside of the building, has a part that can be pulled. Anybody with electrical skills can figure it out. If you like living dangerously, a set of needle-nose pliers will work. Personally I'd prefer something with a bit more electrical insulation, but a quick yank usually works. Might end up knocked on your ass, but ...

As Drachen says, the exit lights and battery-equipped lights will come on and need to be dealt with individually.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

12-09-2010, 02:34 AM
Cause a short circuit on a plug with a paper clip and a glove (if you wish for the character to remain alive) is one possible scenario I think. except if there are back-up generator of course.

Drachen Jager
12-09-2010, 03:13 AM
Carpinttas: A short circuit would blow the circuit breaker, the back-up generator would be irrelevant, because a) they only come on when there's a total power outage and b) even if it came on the circuit breaker would still be thrown, cutting the circuit.

All of which is irrelevant because any given floor of a building will probably have twenty or more circuit breakers, so you'd really only kill power to a few cubicles instead of the whole floor.

12-09-2010, 03:17 AM
Thanks, I just learn something today!

12-09-2010, 03:30 AM
Hey Loquacis,

I'm a sparky. If you could post more details, building size, age, use, etc, I'll try and help.

Not that the answers you've got so far are wrong. But, sorry Drachen, very few buildings I've met, especially those with three floors, have got 20 or more breakers per floor.



Drachen Jager
12-09-2010, 03:53 AM
But, sorry Drachen, very few buildings I've met, especially those with three floors, have got 20 or more breakers per floor

I was thinking larger buildings. An office tower or something, I missed the three storey bit.