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What lies beneath: BC Safety Authority and FortisBC remind of the risks of ground breaking activities during Safe Digging Month

April 10, 2017

​Did you know that last year, there were more than 1,000 incidents of natural gas line damage from excavation across British Columbia? Damaging a gas line can cause unsafe situations, traffic and service interruptions and require costly repairs. The good news? Most of these incidents can be easily avoided.

“Hitting an underground electrical or gas line is both dangerous and expensive,” says Brad Wyatt, BC Safety Authority’s Gas Safety Manager. “It only takes a few minutes to make a phone call or submit a request online which will save you time, money and perhaps even your life.”

April is Safe Digging Month. FortisBC and BC Safety Authority want to remind you to take the necessary steps to confirm there are no underground utilities such as telecommunication cables, water and sewage lines, natural gas pipelines or electrical wires beneath the ground when working outside.

BC One Call is a free service that provides the location of underground lines before excavation begins. Requests can be made online at www.bconecall.bc.ca, by phone at 1-800-474-6886 or by dialing *6886 from a cell phone. It is available 24/7 service 365 days a year. Requests should be made a minimum of three full business days before the planned excavation.

“Whether you’re excavating on a job site or digging in your own garden, find out where gas lines and utilities are buried before you dig,” says Ian Turnbull, Damage Prevention & Emergency Service Manager with FortisBC. “Don’t be on the hook for damages: call or click before you dig.”

If you would like more information about digging safely, visit BC Safety Authority’s website at www.safetyauthority.ca/safety-information/call-before-you-dig or the BC Common Ground Alliance site at: www.commongroundbc.ca.

​For more information, please contact:

Amy Bunton
Corporate Communications Advisor
FortisBC
250-469-8077
amy.bunton@fortisbc.com

Media Relations
BC Safety Authority
778-396-2164
media@safetyauthority.ca

About FortisBC
FortisBC Energy Inc. is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC Energy Inc. employs almost 1,800 British Columbians and serves approximately 982,000 customers in 125 B.C. communities. FortisBC Energy Inc. is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC Energy Inc. owns and operates approximately 48,200 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the TSX and NYSE and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at fortisinc.com or sedar.com.

About BC Safety Authority
BC Safety Authority is an independent, self-funded organization mandated to oversee the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates, it works with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research.