National Grid Urges Caution During ‘National Safe Digging Month’

 Safety of Customers and Communities is Priority as Spring Projects Take Hold


April 24, 2014 – As spring weather brings more outdoor work by individuals, contractors and excavators, National Grid offers an important safety message: Call before you dig! 


Acknowledging the nationwide designation of April as “Safe Digging Month,” National Grid reminds customers that a simple phone call to Dig Safe ®, by dialing 811, can prevent serious personal injury, property damage and service interruptions caused by accidentally digging into electric, gas, telephone, water, sewer or cable facilities.


In New England during 2013, there were more than 600 natural gas or electrical network incidents caused by damage to the system attributed to excavator error or failure to call Dig Safe® prior to beginning work. These events can cause outages, natural gas leaks and other emergencies that can be prevented by taking a few precautions before digging.


"The piece of mind that can be achieved by taking a few minutes to call before you dig is invaluable for both our customers and National Grid," said Timothy F. Horan, president of National Grid in Rhode Island. "Working together, through Dig Safe, is another step we can all take to make our communities safer while assuring the continued reliable delivery of natural gas and electricity."


Dig Safe serves as a 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 Safe at least 72 hours prior to excavation.  The service is provided free of charge. For more information about Dig Safe go to www.digsafe.com.


“Every year damages caused by excavation equipment result in hundreds of interruptions to vital utility services,” said Jeffrey O’Brien, manager, Damage Prevention, for National Grid in New England.  “These damages often result in road closures and evacuations, disrupting residents and businesses in our communities. Sometimes, the consequences are even more severe, including destroyed buildings, serious injuries or even fatalities. That’s why it’s vitally important to call before you dig.”


National Grid also offers these precautions about underground energy services:

·       Never permit anyone to dig near your underground energy sources.

·       Do not plant trees, bushes or shrubs near a transformer door or near a natural gas line.

·       Never allow children to play or dig anywhere near underground electric or natural gas lines.


National Grid continues to partner with other organizations and utility companies, municipal governments and contractors to promote “The 811 Promise,” a written pledge that commits to safety procedures with Dig Safe, a regional effort to raise awareness for safety around digging projects.


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 developing 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 US, 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: www.nationalgridus.com


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