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Safety

Fort Belknap Electric Cooperative COVID-19 Statement

We understand this may negatively impact some of our members and want you to know that we appreciate your understanding and flexibility during these changing times. We are taking every precaution to ensure that our employees are not potentially exposed to, or inadvertently expose others to COVID-19, and we hope that you can support our reasons for taking this step. We believe there is nothing more important than our collective health and safety as we navigate providing our members with critical electric power in a safe environment.

Please remember that we will continue to work and provide service to you during this time.  If you have any questions or need any additional information, please call our office at 940-564-2343.

During this interval, we will not be taking payments inside at our office, other than by mail and those left in our drop box.  If you are accustomed to paying in cash, we ask that you get a money order, use our automated pay by phone system, or use our online website.  Please see our payment options listed below:

 

PAYMENT OPTIONS:

PAY BY PHONE Available in English and Spanish 7 days a week, 24 hours a day accepting check by phone and debit/credit cards. Our toll free number is 1-844-834-4453.  Your payment will post immediately to your account and there is no charge.

ONLINE BILL PAY WEBSITE Making payments 24/7 through our SmartHub program is fast, easy and free at www.fortbelknapec.com.  There is a Mobile App available through the Apple App Store (iPhone or iPad) or Google Play Marketplace (Android phone or tablet).  By accessing our website, you will not only be able to pay your bill, but you can also view your billing history and your actual daily electrical use.  There are several notification options available with SmartHub including email and text messaging.

BY MAIL & OFFICE DROP BOX   We will still be accepting payments through the mail and our drop box here at the office, as usual.  We do caution you in leaving cash in the drop box as we will not be liable for any loss.  We ask that you make arrangements to get a money order instead of leaving cash.  

 

There will be very limited case-by-case exceptions to this policy.  If you believe that you need to see us in person, please call our office ahead of time and we will arrange to meet you at the door. 

Our new membership/service applications can be sent to you by email or by fax.  Please call our office at 940-564-2343 for more information.  There is also a membership/service application available on our website at www.fortbelknapec.com.

Please know that we continue to be available to answer any questions and take care of your electric power needs by calling 940-564-3526 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  If you have a power outage, you will call 940-564-2343 as usual, day or night.

 

At your Touchstone Energy cooperative, member safety is important to us. Below are some links to important safety information to help keep you and your family safe

 


Power Line Safety

Accidentally contacting a power line can be dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. Your Touchstone Energy cooperative wants to help our members stay safe around power lines.

Keep a safe distance

Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home.

Always remember to:

  • Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.
  • Don’t climb trees near power lines.
  • Never fly kits, remote control airplanes or balloons near power lines.
  • If you get something stuck in a power line, call your Touchstone Energy co-op to get it.
  • Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.
  • Never touch or go near a downed power line.
  • Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.
  • Keep children and pets away.

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Power Line Hazards and Cars

If a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call the local cooperative and emergency services.

The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire. Open the door. Do not step out of the car. You may receive a shock. Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.

As in all power line related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911 or call your electric utility company's Service Center/Dispatch Office.

Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground.

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Electrical Safety and Generators

Preventing Electrocutions Associated with Portable Generators Plugged Into Household Circuits

When power lines are down, residents can restore energy to their homes or other structures by using another power source such as a portable generator. If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.

If it is necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations and specifications must be strictly followed. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.

When using gasoline- and diesel-powered portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfeed electrical energy from the generators, and help protect utility line workers or other repair workers or people in neighboring buildings from possible electrocution. If the generator is plugged into a household circuit without turning the main breaker to the “off” position or removing the main fuse, the electrical current could reverse, go back through the circuit to the outside power grid, and energize power lines or electrical systems in other buildings to at or near their original voltage without the knowledge of utility or other workers.

 

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