National Grid Reminds NY Customers To Know What’s Below Before Digging

This article is an official National Grid News Release.


SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged somewhere in the country because someone didn’t contact 811 before digging. Striking a single underground utility line is both dangerous and costly, raising the risk of serious injury, repair costs, fines, and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants contacting 811.

Today, August 11 (8-11), is National 811 Dig Safely Day, and National Grid is reminding customers to know what’s below before digging.  Dialing 8-1-1 puts the caller in touch with Dig Safely New York, the single point of contact to notify National Grid and other participating utilities of planned digging, drilling or blasting. The utilities will clearly mark their buried facilities prior to the start of excavation to ensure customer safety and to prevent damage.

State law requires contacting Dig Safely New York at least two full working days, but no more than 10 working days, before excavation. The service is provided free of charge. Visit to view a short video on the importance of calling 8-1-1.

“Safety is National Grid’s number one priority and we need to work closely with our customers and local communities every day to remain safe,” said Ken Daly, National Grid New York president. “Damage to utility services by excavation equipment results in hundreds of interruptions each year. These incidents cause road closures and evacuations, and disrupt residents and businesses in our communities. If we are all not vigilant with safety, the consequences can be even more severe, including destroyed buildings, serious injuries or fatalities. That’s why it is critically important to call 811 before you dig to get your utilities marked and to practice safe excavation techniques.”

National Grid reports that these “dig-ins” are the leading cause of natural gas leaks each year. In 2015, in the company’s New York service area, there were 959 natural gas or electrical network incidents caused by damage to 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.

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 and your family from injury. A simple phone call can potentially avert tragedy and help to prevent damages to utilities, minimize service disruptions, and reduce potential fines and repair costs.

This week a number of company-sponsored events are taking place across the state to promote the importance of safe digging and to raise awareness:

  • In Syracuse, National Grid partnered with its contractor and Dig Safely New York to demonstrate a mark out of buried utility facilities and excavation at an active construction site.
  •  At the Saratoga Raceway, the company set up a Dig Safe trailer – an interactive mobile exhibit – to highlight the correct way to mark underground cables and pipes.
  • On Long Island, in East Meadow and in Brooklyn in Bushwick, National Grid partnered with its contractor to demonstrate a gas line mark out – the National Grid Damage Prevention Advisor Vehicle was also on hand.
  • At Citi Field, in Queens, National Grid volunteers helped New York 811 set up an “activation footprint” where personnel greeted fans and handed out literature and other 811 branded items at the stadium. The company’s Damage Prevention Advisor Vehicle and New York 811’s wrapped trailer were also on site to raise awareness.


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:
Long Island and the Rockaways:    1-800-490-0045
Metro NY:                                           1-718-643-4050
Upstate NY                                         1-800-892-2345

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.



About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources 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 the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, 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. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization).

For more information please visit our website:, or our Connecting website. You can also follow us on Twitter, watch us on You Tube, like us on Facebook and find our photos on Instagram.



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