National Grid encourages customers to make a free call to know what’s below
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Let the date serve as the reminder…August 11 (8-11), is National 811 Safe Digging Day. National Grid is reminding customers that every digging project, no matter how large or small, always requires a call to 811 (by dialing 811) so underground utilities can be marked before a shovel goes in the ground. It’s the smart and safe thing to do, and it’s free.
Nationally, every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone didn’t contact 811 before digging. Striking a single underground utility line can cause injury, repair costs, fines, and inconvenient service outages. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before you dig will help protect you and your family from injury.
National Grid’s new Call Before you Dig video shows the importance of calling 811 before starting any digging. Whether you’re a professional excavator or a weekend warrior a simple phone call can potentially avert tragedy and help to prevent damage to utilities, minimize service disruptions, and eliminate the risk of fines and repair costs.
“It is critically important to call 8-1-1 before you dig to get all utilities marked,” said Robert De Marinis, National Grid vice president of New York Gas Operations. “Calls to 811 have increased due to education and awareness sponsored by Dig Safely New York and utilities like National Grid. By spreading the word to call 811 it has decreased damages, service interruptions, and injury. A simple call can save a life.”
Collaborative with Dig Safely New York, contractors, and municipalities has helped reduce the number of natural gas or electrical network incidents caused by damage to the system by 18 percent from 2016 to 2017 in National Grid’s upstate New York service area.
National Grid is also working closely with local fire and police departments and with their strong support people are calling before they dig. Calling 811 can potentially avoid an incident that requires police and fire response.
The depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple utility lines in one common area. A quick phone call to 811 at least two days before digging connects callers to an operator at a local One Call Center who will provide information on when participating utilities must clearly mark their underground equipment. The process is simple and the service is free of charge.
Whether you’re planting a tree or shrub, or installing a deck or pool, every job requires a call to 811 to know what’s below before digging. State laws mandate that 811 be called several days in advance of beginning projects that require excavation. Failure to call 811 may be punishable by fines, but even more important, calling 811 is the right thing to do because it helps keep everyone safe by preventing potentially deadly contact with underground electricity and gas lines.
If You Suspect a Natural Gas Leak, Call National Grid
National Grid reminds customers to take the following safety actions anytime a gas leak is suspected:
- Evacuate your home and move to a safe area.
- Do NOT smoke, light matches or do anything to create a flame.
- Do NOT touch any light switches or electrical equipment and do NOT pull any plugs from outlets. These items may produce a spark that might ignite the gas and cause an explosion.
- If you have a gas range or oven, make sure the controls are turned OFF. Extinguish any easily accessible open flames such as lit candles, but never try to put out a fire you suspect may be caused by escaping gas. Leave immediately.
- Do NOT assume someone else will report the condition.
- Call 911 and National Grid’s gas emergency number from a safe location at 1-800-892-2345.
- National Grid has crews on call 24 hours/7 days a week who will respond immediately.
- Provide the exact location, including cross streets.
- Let us know if sewer construction or digging activities are going on in the area.
- Do not return to your home until National Grid tells you it is safe.