National Grid Reminds Customers to Put Safety First and Call Before You Dig

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

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Waltham, Mass. (PRWEB) August 07, 2014

August 11 (8-11) is National 811 Safe Digging Day and National Grid wants to remind customers to put safety first. Whether you're planting a tree or shrub, or installing a deck or pool, every job requires a call to 811. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before you dig will help protect you from injury and prevent damages to utilities, service disruptions and potential fines and repair costs. National Grid reports that these “dig-ins” are the leading cause of natural gas leaks each year.

“Even if you've called before for a similar project, we want to remind customers that it’s better to be safe and call again,” said Sue Fleck, Vice President, Pipeline Safety, National Grid. “Whether you're a professional excavator or a weekend warrior, smart digging always requires a call to 811. That simple phone call can potentially avert tragedy.”

The depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple utility lines in one common area. A quick phone call to 811 several 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.

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, which in some states can be as high as $1,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for subsequent offenses. 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
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:
o Massachusetts:             1-800-233-5325
o Rhode Island:             1-800-640-1595
o Long Island and the Rockaways:     1-800-490-0045
o Metro NY:             1-718-643-4050
o Upstate NY            1-800-892-2345
o These are dedicated Gas Emergency phone numbers. 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.

NATIONAL GRID

About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and develop an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.

In the northeast U.S., we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

For more information please visit our website: http://www.nationalgridus.com.

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