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CEO February Message

01 February 2020

We are already into the second month of 2020. I hope the new year has been good to you so far. During the winter months it is important to stay safe and warm.

In the Northern Hemisphere winter includes the months of December,  January and February. Mother Nature sometimes has a different idea for Montana. I think we all have memories of early and late winter storms that reminded us it can snow just about any time of year in Montana.

Everyone at Hill County Electric (HCE) would like to remind you how important it is to be safe around electricity.

Here are a few tips on how to stay safe and warm this winter:

Don’t overload outlets.
Overloaded outlets are one of the leading causes of residential fires. When connecting appliances, avoid using extension cords and multi-outlet converters; plug them directly into the wall outlet.

Inspect your power cords.
If the protective coating on a wire is stripped away, replace the cord. Exposed wiring is very dangerous.

Never leave space heaters unattended.
Turn off space heaters before leaving a room and make sure they are at least three feet away from flammable items. There is an article on the next page that covers space heater safety in more depth, please take the time to review the safety information.

Inspect heating pads and electric blankets.
These two items cause almost 500 fires every year. Inspect electric blankets and heating pad for dark, charred or frayed spots. Also check the cords for any damage. Consider replacing electric blankets and heating pads that are over 10 years old and never fold them when in use.

Portable generator safety. Unfortunately, winter storms can cause power outages. Remember to be safe if you use a portable generator to power your home. Never connect a standby generator into your home’s electrical system. Before you plug in appliances, first start the generator. Plug appliances directly into the outlet provided on the generator. Run the generator in a well-ventilated area outside of the home. Keep the generator away from garages, doors, windows and vents, as the carbon dioxide it generates is deadly.

If you are interested in a standby generator rather than a portable generator, HCE offers an automatic standby generator solution. A selection of Generac generators are available through our supply warehouse in Havre and our Master Electrician can professionally install them for you. The generator sits outside your home the same as a central air conditioner and consists of the generator and transfer switch. If your power goes out, the generator comes on automatically. Stop by our warehouse in Havre or give us a call at 406-394-7804 if you are interested in a Generac generator.

And always, STAY SAFE and STAY WARM!