April is National Safe Digging Month; DigNet Reminds Homeowners and Excavators to Call before Digging

NEW YORK CITY– March 31, 2010 – In honor of April being National Safe Digging Month, DigNet of New York City & Long Island is reminding homeowners and excavators of the importance of calling 811 or 1-800-272-4480 before they dig. DigNet is a non-profit organization that enables its members to mark the locations of underground facilities in planned dig sites to prevent incidents of damage. Accidents involving underground power, gas, water or other utility lines may result in service outages, leakage of dangerous materials into the soil and air as well as severe injuries.

Beginning in April, DigNet is launching a contest to further encourage area residents to practice safe digging. Between April and October 2010, people who call DigNet at either 811 or 1-800-272-4480 to request location service will be entered to win Home Depot gift cards.

New York state law and Code 753 requires professional excavators within the five boroughs of New York City and the two counties of Long Island to notify DigNet at least two working days prior to beginning any mechanized digging or excavation on a site – and failure to do so is punishable by fine from the Public Service Commission.

Although not required by law, homeowners in New York City and Long Island are also encouraged to call DigNet before beginning any digging projects on their properties due to the safety concerns. Home improvement projects that may warrant a phone call to DigNet include the installation of mailboxes or fences; landscaping, tree planting and any other renovation project that involves digging. Homeowners are also encouraged to verify that professional excavators hired to dig on their properties have followed the law and placed a call to DigNet before beginning work.

“National Safe Digging Month provides us with the opportunity to remind our neighbors throughout New York City and Long Island of the dangers often associated with even the simplest of digging projects,” said Roger Sampson, president of the Board of Directors, DigNet. “Placing a simple, toll-free phone call to DigNet at least two working days before you begin to dig is the best way to ensure that the locations of underground lines are properly marked ahead of time so that they may be safely avoided.”

To request location service, please call DigNet at either 811 or 1-800-272-4480. For more information about DigNet’s services, please visit www.dignetnycli.com.

About DigNet of New York City & Long Island
DigNet of New York City & Long Island is a member-funded, non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of underground facilities from damage due to excavation and demolition. DigNet’s services include receiving notices of intent to perform excavation and demolition and transmitting them to its members in the specified dig area within the five boroughs of New York City and the two counties of Long Island. Upon receipt of the planned excavation notification, members including utility companies and other operators of underground facilities must properly mark their underground facilities to minimize the risk of damage and injury. Located in Queens, DigNet accepts requests 24/7 and is easily contacted by dialing either 811 or 1-800-272-4480. For more information, please visit www.dignetnycli.com.

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