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UGI Encourages Contractors and Consumers to Work Safely Around Homes During National Safe Digging Month

31 Mar 2014

Reading, PA – UGI urges both professional contractors and do-it-yourself homeowners to both “know what’s below” and to “look up and live” when taking on home improvement projects this spring. These simple practices will help prevent injuries and damage when working near both underground facilities and overhead electric wires and associated equipment.

April is National Safe Digging Month.  This initiative focuses on raising awareness about safe digging practices to help prevent property damage, injuries and unnecessary utility service outages.

“Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. In fact, third-party excavation damage is the number one cause of pipeline damage involving death or serious injury,” Eric Swartley, UGI director of damage prevention, safety and regulatory compliance, said. “National Safe Digging Month provides us with an opportunity to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before digging to prevent the risk of striking an underground utility line. In addition, damage and potential injury can be avoided by being aware of overhead lines as well.”

UGI reminds those doing excavation work to call 8-1-1 at least three days before starting a digging project to have underground utilities marked.  When making the free call to 8-1-1, callers are connected to their local One Call (811) Center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the excavation project. Professional locators are then sent to the project site to mark the approximate locations underground lines with flags or paint.

Pennsylvania law requires a call to your local One Call (811) Center when residents are using power equipment to conduct major landscaping or minor digging projects. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, building a deck and even small projects like planting trees or shrubs are all examples of digging projects that require a call to 8-1-1 before starting.

Visit ugi.com/811 or call811.com for more information about safe digging practices and excavation safety.
UGI Utilities has headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania and serves 660,000 customers in 45 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland.  Customers interested in additional information visit the UGI website at www.ugi.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ugiutilities; Twitter at www.twitter.com/ugi_utilities.
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