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UGI Encourages Homeowners and Contractors to Work Safely on National 8-1-1 Day

Reading, PA – As part of National 811 Day, UGI urges homeowners and professional contractors to “know what’s below” and to “look up and live” when taking on home improvement projects and new construction. These simple practices will help keep individuals safe and prevent damage to both underground facilities as well as overhead electric wires and other equipment.

August 11 is National 811 Day, designed to build homeowner and contractor awareness of safe digging practices to help prevent property damage, injuries and avoidable utility service outages.

UGI reminds all individuals doing excavation work to call to 8-1-1 at least three days before starting a digging project to have underground utilities marked.  Pennsylvania law requires a call to your local 811 (One Call) Center when performing excavations using powered equipment for major landscaping and even minor digging projects.  There is no charge for 8-1-1 to provide utility line location services.

As part of raising awareness of the importance of calling 8-1-1, UGI will join with other utilities and safety organizations at minor league ballparks across its service area on August 11 to distribute information. UGI will be at home games for the Reading Fightin Phils, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and the Williamsport Crosscutters.

“Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811,” Robert Krieger, UGI Utilities Vice President of Operations, said.

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.  When making the free call to 8-1-1, callers are connected to their local one-call center. The one-call center then notifies the appropriate utility companies of the location of planned excavation. Utility companies then send out professional locators to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or paint.

”Third-party excavation damage is the number one cause of natural gas pipeline damage involving death or serious injury,” Krieger said. “Striking a single utility service line can cause personal injury, property damage and outages that inconvenience communities.  In addition, persons responsible for striking utility lines can also face the costs of repairs and fines.”

“National 811 Day 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,” Krieger added.  “In addition, damage and potential injury can be avoided by being aware of overhead lines as well.”

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 670,000 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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