Flathead Electric requires that all meters and meter bases remain safely accessible and prefers that they remain uncovered. FEC does recognize that some members opt to enclose their meters for aesthetic purposes. In an effort to compromise and maintain safe working conditions, FEC will allow meters to be enclosed but the following guidelines must be adhered to:
- The meter base shall always be accessible to FEC employees
- The meter base shall always be on the outside of the house, building, structure, etc.
- Any enclosure shall have hinged doors and handles for opening
- Hinges are only allowed on the sides of the doors to prevent doors from opening vertically
- Doors shall not be locked, nailed, screwed, or otherwise fastened closed
- Doors shall open fully to a minimum of 90 degrees, not restricting access or working space
- Cross bracing and flooring will not be acceptable in a meter enclosure
- Enclosure openings shall not extend to the ground where snow and other materials could prevent or deter opening
- The opening shall be at least 30” wide, and at least as wide as all of the electrical equipment inside plus 10” on either side
- The meter, meter base, CT can, disconnect switches, and any other apparatus shall be completely exposed and accessible when the enclosure door is open
- An enclosed meter base and all equipment shall be rated for exterior use and be rain tight according to NEMA-3R
- There shall always be a minimum of three feet of clear flat working space maintained in front of the meter and all apparatus
- All other FEC meter and meter base requirements and clearances shall still be met including proper separation from other utilities
- All applicable local, state, and federal codes shall be followed
Having safe and easy access to meters is not only for the benefit and safety of Flathead Electric employees and others that need to work on your electrical equipment. It is for the protection of your building, property, and possibly your life in the case of emergency. First responders look for meters and their associated disconnecting devices when they report to structure fires.