2013-04-26 / Top Stories

National Grid: Dig Wisely

As spring weather and Sandy recovery and rebuilding brings more outdoor work by individuals, contractors and excavators, National Grid offers an important safety message: Call before you dig!

Acknowledging April as “Dig Safely Month,” National Grid reminds customers that a simple phone call to NY811 (by dialing 811) can prevent serious personal injury, property damage and service interruptions caused by accidentally digging into electric, gas, telephone, water, sewer or cable facilities.

They point out that in 2012 in the New York City metro area, there were 187 natural gas network incidents caused by damage to the system and 319 such incidents were reported on Long Island.

According to the company, these events can cause outages, natural gas leaks and other emergencies that can be prevented by taking a few precautions before digging.

“Ensuring the safety of our customers and employees, and providing reliable and uninterrupted delivery of gas service are National Grid’s priorities,” said Ken Daly, National Grid president for New York. “By encouraging the public to dig safely and to call before digging, we hope to minimize damage to our gas system and protect our customers. This is especially important in the Sandyimpacted communities that we are helping to rebuild.”

NY811 serves as a single point of contact to notify National Grid and other participating utilities of planned digging, drilling or blasting. Each utility will come out and clearly mark their buried facilities before digging starts to ensure customer safety and prevent damage.

New York State law requires contacting NY811 at least two full working days, but no more than 10 working days, prior to excavation. The service is provided free of charge.

Said Diane Benedetto, National Grid manager for New York Damage Prevention, “Sometimes, the consequences (of not calling) could be more severe, including destroyed buildings, serious injuries or even fatalities. That’s why it’s vitally important to call before you dig.” National Grid offers the following precautions about digging.  Never permit anyone to dig near your underground energy sources.  Do not plant trees, bushes or shrubs near a natural gas line.  Never dig anywhere near underground natural gas lines.

National Grid continues to partner with other organizations and utility companies, municipal governments and contractors to promote regional efforts to raise awareness for safety around digging projects.

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