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BGE Reminds Homeowners And Contractors About The Importance Of Calling 811

BGE | 4/8/2020, 4:45 p.m.
With more people at home during the COVID-19 health crisis it is essential to call 811 before digging
BGE Reminds Homeowners And Contractors About The Importance Of Calling 811 Courtesy Photo

April is National Safe Digging Month, and BGE is joining Miss Utility 811– the one-call notification center for Maryland – to remind homeowners and contractors that safe digging must remain a priority to prevent damage to critical utility services and keep communities safe.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic which has homeowners spending more time than ever at home potentially engaged in home improvement activities requiring digging, it is imperative that underground utilities be marked before any digging takes place. Calling 811 or placing an online request before digging is free of charge and will help residents avoid accidentally damaging buried utility lines. Projects such as gardening and landscaping, installing a mailbox, deck or fence can result in serious injuries, service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged.

More than 60 percent of BGE's electric lines, approximately 17,000 circuit miles, are located underground and BGE manages more than 7,000 miles of buried natural gas lines in its region, many of which may cross through residential properties. Properly locating these lines is essential to safely completing a digging job.

Residents and businesses should take the following steps when planning a digging project this spring:

Always call 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.

Plan ahead. Call several days ahead for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.

Confirm that all lines have been marked.

Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.

If a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor has called 811. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.

Visit call811.com for more information.

When calling 811 at least three business days prior to digging, customers and contractors are connected to Maryland One Call that will take the caller’s information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

To promote safety around electric infrastructure in the communities it serves, BGE also reminds residents and businesses that customer-owned structures are not permitted within BGE’s easements or near overhead equipment. Customers must contact their local municipality to obtain the necessary permits prior to any construction near company-owned transmission or distribution lines.

For information on digging safely, including how to get lines marked and what to do after lines are marked visit www.bge.com/811, or contact the BGE Damage Prevention team at 410.470.6698 to arrange for free damage prevention training. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and impact our community, we want to reaffirm with you our commitment to the safety and well-being of our customers, employees, and contractors. Safety is our top priority. We have implemented important procedures to prioritize the health of our community. All BGE employees and contractors have been instructed to follow health and safety best practices consistent with CDC guidelines including but not limited to practicing safe social distancing.