Rhode Island Energy reminds customers to always call 811 before digging
April is National Safe Digging Month; state law requires that Dig Safe® be notified before digging for any type of project.

PROVIDENCE, RI (April 3, 2024) – Spring is officially here, and as Rhode Islanders are eager to get their outdoor home improvement projects underway, Rhode Island Energy reminds our customers planning to dig—for any type of project—to first contact Dig Safe® to prevent damage to underground utilities. The month of April is designated as National Safe Digging Month for that very reason, to remind customers of the importance of calling 811 to prevent damage to underground utilities.

Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to Dig Safe at 811 or a visit to digsafe.com to submit a request to mark the location of utility lines below the ground. Whether you’re installing a deck, fence, or planting shrubs; doing it yourself or hiring a professional; state law requires that Dig Safe be notified before digging. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried will help protect your family and your community. Striking a single underground utility line can result in injury, repair costs, fines, and potential service interruptions. Calling 811 helps avoid an incident that requires police, fire, or utility response.

“Safety is a top priority for us at Rhode Island Energy, and we want to help keep our customers safe at all times,” said Michele Leone, vice president of Gas Operations at Rhode Island Energy. “We know many Rhode Islanders are excited to get started on home improvement projects this time of year, and we can’t stress enough how important it is to call 811 before digging. It is critical to protecting not only themselves and their families, but also the communities where they live.”

Rhode Island state law requires you give Dig Safe at least a 72-hour notice – not including weekends and holidays – before digging begins. A quick phone call to 811 or visit to digsafe.comconnects you to their local call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. Professional locators then arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint, or both. The service is free of charge.

The utility marks should stay intact for the duration of the digging project. If the marks are compromised for any reason, call Dig Safe at 811. In Rhode Island, tickets do not expire so long as the marks are maintained.

In summary, here are a few important reminders for safe digging:

Call before you dig. Before digging, contact Dig Safe at least three full working days before beginning any digging project by visiting digsafe.com or dialing 8-1-1.

Wait for the utility lines to be marked. At no cost, 811 technicians will mark the location of the utility lines on the requested property. Once you've confirmed the utilities have been marked, it is safe to begin the digging project.

Respect the markings for your safety. Dig at least 18 inches on either side of the designated centerline of buried lines. A good rule of thumb is two feet from all sides.

Dig with care. If you accidentally damage a utility line, no matter how minor it may seem, move to a safe location. From a safe place, call Rhode Island Energy at 1-800-640-1595 or 911 immediately.

Visit rienergy.com/RI-Home/Natural-Gas-Safety/Pipes-on-Your-Property for more information on the ‘call before you dig’ process.

About Rhode Island Energy

Rhode Island Energy provides essential energy services to over 770,000 customers across Rhode Island through the delivery of electricity or natural gas. Our team of 1,300 employees is dedicated to helping Rhode Island customers and communities thrive, while supporting the transition to a cleaner energy future. Rhode Island Energy is part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies addressing energy challenges head-on by building smarter, more resilient, and more dynamic power grids and advancing sustainable energy solutions. For more information visit www.RIEnergy.com and stay connected on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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For further information: Michaela Crimmins, 401.799.7000