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

Apr 10, 2017

KELOWNA, BC – 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.

 

Media contact

​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

FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs approximately 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,260 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit fortisinc.com.