Aug. 11 marks National 811 Safe Digging Day. National Grid reminds customers and contractors to call 811 before starting any digging or excavation project (no matter how big or small) to have underground utility lines properly marked. Dig Safe is a free service, funded solely by its utility members, to promote public safety and avoid costly underground utility damage.
A press release noted, “Every hour, more than six buried utilities are damaged nationally because someone neglected to call 811 prior to digging. Striking a single line can result in personal injury, repair costs, state fines, and inconvenient outages. National Grid reports these particular ‘dig-ins’ are the leading cause of natural gas leaks each year. It’s important to know what’s below, so call 811 before you dig.”
National Grid Vice President of Gas Compliance & Assurance Mark Prewitt said, “Safe digging is absolutely critical to ensure the safety of our employees, public and local communities that we proudly serve each day. At National Grid, we remain focused and diligent in our commitment to deliver clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy services to our customers. Calling 811 before you dig will help to protect you and your family, as well as your neighbors and the local community.”
The press release stated, “Calling 811 before you dig is the law. Whether installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree, or laying a patio, all are examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 before starting. Prior to calling 811, always pre-mark the requested digging area so that locators know exactly where to inspect. When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to a local one-call center, which notifies utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint, or both. The services are free, fast, and easy to use.
“Calling 811 before you dig is the law. Failure to call 811 may be punishable by fines, which in some states can be as high as $1,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for subsequent offenses. Please be aware that requests to Dig Safe must be placed at least 72 hours in advance, excluding weekends and legal holidays. Digging is never permitted until lines have been marked by Dig Safe. Calling 811 helps to keep everyone safe by preventing any potential deadly contact with underground electricity and gas lines.”
Those who suspect a natural gas leak can call 911 and/or National Grid. Because “dig-ins” are a leading cause of natural gas leaks, National Grid reminds customers to:
√ Call 911 and/or National Grid’s gas emergency number from a safe location:
√ For Long Island and the Rockaways: 1-800-490-0045
√ For Metro NY: 1-718-643-4050
√ For Upstate NY: 1-800-892-2345
These are dedicated gas emergency phone numbers. National Grid has crews on call 24 hours/seven days a week who will respond immediately.