PSE&G Urges Everyone to Follow Safe Digging Practices; Call 811 Before You Dig

(NEWARK, N.J. – April 5, 2021) – 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 is National Safe Digging Month. PSE&G, New Jersey’s largest utility, urges contractors, excavators and customers to call 811 before digging to help prevent natural 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. 

“I cannot stress enough how important it is for homeowners and contractors to follow the law in calling 811 prior to any kind of excavation. Especially at a time when we’re relying on important utilities to connect us and keep us safe at home, calling 811 is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area so that you can dig safely,” said Mike Gaffney, senior director, Gas Operations. “You will be surprised how often damages occur from small homeowner projects like installing fences, mailboxes and planting trees. All of these avoidable damages result in safety related hazards and can lead to costly repairs for which homeowners may be responsible. This also holds true for contractors that are excavating. When hiring a contractor, homeowners should ensure that the contractor is following the law and calling 811 prior to any excavation. It is the easiest way to ensure you are digging safely.”

Digging without knowledge of the location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, utility disruption and costly repairs. In 2020, PSE&G responded to 913 excavating damages (756 gas, 157 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. 

Physical distancing continues to be an important tactic in fighting COVID-19, so PSE&G reminds the public that mark-out work is performed entirely outdoors and there is no need for any interaction between the technician and the person who called to request the mark out.

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 or on the PSE&G website: #Call811 #CallBeforeYouDig




Public Service Electric & 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. In 2020, PSE&G was named the most trusted combined gas & electric utility in the East Region, by the Cogent Syndicated Brand Trust Index. 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 13 consecutive years (