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National Grid Urges Customers to Call Before You Dig
National Grid Urges Customers to Call Before You Dig

August 11 (8-11) is National 811 Safe Digging Day

August 10, 2017

August 11 (8-11) is National 811 Safe Digging Day, and National Grid is reminding customers that every digging project, no matter how large or small, always requires a call to 811. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before you dig will help protect you and your family from injury.

National Grid reports that “dig-ins” are the leading cause of natural gas leaks each year. In 2016, nearly 700 natural gas or electrical network incidents in New England damaged the system. These events can cause natural gas leaks, electrical outages and other emergencies that can be prevented by taking a few precautions before digging.

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 call 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 more importantly, 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

Because “dig ins” are a leading cause of natural gas leaks, 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 1-800-233-5325 in Massachusetts and 1-800-640-1595 in Rhode Island. 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.

Research shows that when you call 811 the appropriate amount of time before digging, you have less than 1% chance of striking an underground utility line.  It's worth the call.

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company that supplies the energy for more than 20 million people through its networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Read more about the innovative projects happening across our footprint in The Democratization of Energy, an eBook written by National Grid’s US president, Dean Seavers.

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