PSE&G Urges Everyone to Follow Safe Digging Practices; Call 811 Before You Dig
April is National Safe Digging Month
(NEWARK, N.J. – April 2, 2020) – In unsure times like these, people find comfort in things they can count on, and one of those things is knowing that their safety and the safety of their communities remain a top priority for PSE&G – especially when it comes to our natural gas system.
April marks the start of National Safe Digging Month. PSE&G, New Jersey’s largest utility, urges contractors, excavators and customers to call 811 before digging to help prevent gas emergencies. When an individual calls 811 to request a utility markout, they must wait three business days for the utility companies to properly mark underground lines with paint and flags. The markout will then remain valid for 45 business days.
“Underground gas lines are everywhere, even on private property, and many of the gas damages that PSE&G responds to on a regular basis are completely avoidable,” said Joe Forline, PSE&G vice president of gas operations. “When customers are hiring contractors for work that requires digging, such as fence and swimming pool installation, they should discuss the need to follow the law and call 811. Likewise, customers doing their own projects that require digging, like installing a new mailbox post or planting a tree, should also follow the same procedure.”
Digging without knowledge of the location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, utility disruption and costly repairs. In 2019, PSE&G responded to 890 excavating damages (746 gas, 144 electric). The best way to prevent excavating damage is to call 811 before beginning any digging project this spring and use caution around marked facilities. It is not only the safe, smart thing to do -- it is the law.
Prevention is key:
- Contractors, excavators and customers should always call 811 to request that utility lines be located and marked before digging, to avoid hitting underground pipelines, conduits, wires and cables. This service is free, and critical to avoid injuries and disruptions to vital utility services. If there is excavation work occurring on your property, customers should always make sure that a contractor has called 811 before starting work. Every digging project, even a small project like planting a tree or building a deck with hand tools, requires a call to 811.
What to do if you smell gas:
- Leave the building as quickly as possible and move 350-feet away from the structure. Take all others with you. If you smell gas outside, move well away from where you suspect the gas is leaking.
- Call PSE&G immediately at 1-800-880-PSEG (7734) and call 911. (Do NOT call from inside the building. Wait until you are outside and a safe distance to call.)
More information about 811 is available at nj1-call.org or on the PSE&G website: https://nj.pseg.com/safetyandreliability/safetytips/callbeforeyoudig. #Call811 #CallBeforeYouDig
Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest gas and electric delivery public utility, serving three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability in the Mid-Atlantic region. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company. PSEG has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 12 consecutive years (www.pseg.com).