As communities continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy, and spring weather brings more rebuilding and outdoor work by property owners, contractors and excavators, National Grid offers important safety messages including – call New York 811 before you dig.
Many customers experienced significant damage to their homes and businesses as a result of Sandy. With the arrival of spring and the rebuilding process picking up, National Grid urges customers to take safety precautions when conducting demolition work, rebuilding or excavating around natural gas facilities and underground utilities.
A simple phone call to NY811 (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. Natural gas system incidents caused by dig-ins can cause outages, natural gas leaks and other emergencies that can be prevented by taking a few precautions before digging.
NY811 serves as a single point of contact to notify National Grid and other participating utilities of planned digging. 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 NY811 at least two full working days, but no more than 10 working days, prior to excavation.
The service is provided free of charge.
“In the face of unprecedented damage from Hurricane Sandy we have been with our customers in the hardest communities providing assistance with plumbing inspections, heating assistance and grants for residences and businesses to help these communities get back on their feet,” said Ken Daly, President, National Grid New York. “As warmer weather arrives and rebuilding activity in these areas increases, we remind customers to work safely and call NY811 to have underground utility facilities marked out before beginning any demolition or construction work.”
National Grid also offers these safety precautions:
- If demolition is required prior to rebuilding, your gas service will need to be turned off prior to beginning work. Customers in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island can call National Grid at 718-643-4050 and on Long Island and the Rockaways at 1-800-930-5003.
- If you have natural gas service, make sure that the vent line on your appliances (dryer, water heater, heating equipment) is properly connected to the outside and is not disturbed by your repair work.
- If you have natural gas service, protect the gas meter and service lines from falling debris. If you are not sure about how to protect the equipment call National Grid for assistance, in some cases this may require temporary interruption of service until the work is complete. Customers in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island can call National Grid at 718-643-4050 and on Long Island and the Rockaways at 1-800-930-5003.
- If your appliances have been in contact with water, please contact a licensed plumbing or heating contractor to make sure the appliances are safe to operate.
- Never permit anyone to dig near your underground energy sources.
- Do not plant trees, bushes or shrubs near a natural gas line.
- Never dig anywhere near underground natural gas lines.