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UGI Encourages Homeowners to Work Safely During National Safe Digging Month

31 Mar 2015

Reading, PA – UGI urges homeowners and professional contractors to “know what’s below” and to “look up and live” when taking on home improvement projects this spring. Those simple practices will help keep individuals safe and prevent damage to both underground facilities as well as overhead electric wires and other equipment.

April is National Safe Digging Month, an initiative focused on raising awareness about safe digging practices to help prevent property damage, injuries and inconvenient 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 One Call (811) Center when residents are using powered equipment to conduct major landscaping and even minor digging projects.

There is no charge for 8-1-1 requests.

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.  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.

“Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and outages that inconvenience communities. In fact, third-party excavation damage is the number one cause of natural gas pipeline damage involving death or serious injury,” Robert Krieger, UGI Vice President of Operations, 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,” Krieger said.  “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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