NEWARK, N.J., April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- April is NJ Underground Damage Prevention Month, and Public Service Electric & Gas Company is reminding customers, contractors and excavators that they must call before digging to avoid hitting underground gas and electric lines. To make it easy to call, 811 has been designated as the national dialing code to have underground lines located and marked.
When you call 811, you are automatically connected to the New Jersey one-call center, which collects information about your digging project. The one-call center then provides the information to the utility companies, who will send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines in the immediate vicinity of the planned work location with flags, paint or both. Once lines have been properly marked and your locate request becomes valid, you are free to carefully dig around the marked areas.
Every digging project, even a small project like planting a tree or building a deck, requires a call to 811.
The call must be made whether you are hiring a professional or planning to do the job yourself. Striking a single line can cause outages and result in repair costs and fines.
Here's important information to consider:
- Underground gas and electric lines are everywhere, even on private properties. You can easily damage them if you don't know where they are, with the potential to seriously injure yourself or others. Digging into these lines also can disrupt the vital utility services and result in costly delays, expensive repairs and environmental or property damage.
- Whether planning a major home improvement project or installing something as simple as a fence or mailbox post, a call must be placed beforehand to know where it's safe to dig.
- Call 811 or 1-800-272-1000 at least four business days before each job to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located. Utility workers will respond and place markers where utility lines are buried, free of charge.
- Be sure to wait three full business days after calling before doing any digging. Don't dig until lines have been marked.
- Property owners must maintain and respect the marks. Always hand dig within two feet of marked lines.
- If you accidentally damage gas piping or smell gas when excavating, please call 911 immediately from a safe area. Then call the "PSE&G, Police and Fire Emergency line" at 1-800-880-7734 (PSEG).
- Call before you dig is more than a good idea — it's the law.
Additional information, including a damage prevention booklet on safe excavating practices and the protection of underground facilities, can be found online at: http://www.pseg.com/call811
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
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SOURCE Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G)