FortisBC celebrates Kamloops’ commitment to safe digging

Apr 4, 2019

KAMLOOPS, BC - As spring and summer is often a time when many start projects that involve digging, FortisBC is reminding British Columbians about the importance of working safely around natural gas infrastructure. The community of Kamloops is setting a great example for the rest of the province and is leading the way in the reduction of gas line damages. 

“We have seen a decrease in gas line damages in Kamloops of over 65 per cent in the last 10 years,” says Ian Turnbull, damage prevention and emergency services manager at FortisBC. “We are pleased to see that Kamloops is trending in the right direction and we want to thank the City of Kamloops and its citizens for putting safety first.” 

In comparison to other medium-sized municipalities, Kamloops ranks best for the fewest number of damages – a great improvement from just nine years ago when the city had the highest number of damages for a medium-sized community. 

Kamloops City Council has made a formal commitment to safe digging by proclaiming that April 2019 be known as Safe Digging Awareness Month

"FortisBC has talked with us about examples from around the province of near misses,” said Mayor Ken Christian. “We fully support their safe digging protocols and value the importance of understanding all underground utility locations before beginning work. The City of Kamloops considers safety a top priority and has an excellent record in regard to safe digging. We are happy to be recognizing best practices during this campaign."

“FortisBC works closely with communities across the province to raise awareness around safe digging practices,” adds Turnbull. “Safety is a shared responsibility and the City is an ambassador for this important message.” 

Although Kamloops has seen a reduction in gas line damages, FortisBC wants to remind everyone to continue working safely around natural gas infrastructure. This is important whether digging a small hole in the yard or excavating a job site. When a natural gas line is damaged, it can have serious consequences such as interrupted service and repair costs. 

What to do before you dig 

  • First, click or call BC One Call before you dig, to find out where gas lines and other utility lines are buried. The call and information is free. Make sure you call a minimum of three business days before you start your project.
  • Second, follow closely the information you receive from FortisBC. If you need help understanding the information or directions, call 1-888-822-6555 and a representative can assist. Use the information that FortisBC provides to mark the location of gas lines on your site. Dig by hand first to expose the gas line if you are working in this area and do not use any power equipment within one metre of the gas line.

For more information about digging safely, visit fortisbc.com/digsafe

 

Media contact

Diana Sorace
Corporate Communications Advisor 
FortisBC Energy Inc.

24-hour media line: 1-855-322-6397

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 more than 1,800 British Columbians and serves approximately 1,008,400 customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC Energy Inc. owns and operates 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 www.fortisinc.com.