8/11 is more than just another hot day in August – it’s National Safe Digging Day, in honor of the country-wide safety hotline, 8-1-1. Whether you’re installing a fence to keep the family pet in the back yard, or getting a head start on some fall landscaping, we want to remind our customers that making a call to 811 beforehand is not only important for safety reasons, but it is also the law.
Calling 811 is free, and you’ll connect automatically to the New York One-Call center, which collects information about your digging project to ensure there’s no interference with underground pipelines, conduits, wires and cables. The one-call center then provides the information to the utility companies, who will send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines in the immediate vicinity of the planned work location with flags, paint or both. Once lines have been properly marked and you receive confirmation, you can begin your project. The process typically takes about two business days.
Use these tips to help yourself, friends and family stay safe:
- Call 811 at least two business days before each job to have underground facilities located.
- If you hired a contractor, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Do not allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.
- Large and small projects, such as installing a fence, building a deck and planting a tree, all warrant a call to 811.
- Property owners must maintain and respect the marks. Always hand dig within two feet of marked lines or the area known as the Tolerance Zone.
- Various colors are used when marking lines, learn what each color represents at www.call811.com.
If an underground facility is struck resulting in an electrical or gas emergency:
- Leave the area immediately and keep others away.
- Call 911 to report the incident and the respective utility:
- If electrical equipment was damaged, call PSEG Long Island’s electric service line at 800-490-0075.
- If you accidentally damage gas piping or smell gas when excavating, call 911 and National Grid Long Island’s gas emergency line at 800-490-0045 immediately from a safe area.