CenterPoint Energy encourages safety awareness during National Safe Digging Month

Contact 811 to have underground utility lines marked

While digging do you stop and think to call 811 to check for underground utilities? Even though it is state law and helps to prevent damage to underground utilities like natural gas, electric and water, damage to underground lines is still shockingly common.

“Last year, we saw more than 8,500 damages to underground lines in our eight-state territory,” said Ashley Babcock, Director of Damage Prevention and Public Awareness for CenterPoint Energy. “By contacting 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are abiding by an important law put in place to help keep them and their communities safe.” 

Striking a single line can result in injury, repair costs, fines and service interruptions, according to a CenterPoint Energy press release.

This year CenterPoint Energy is partnering with the Common Ground Alliance to recognize April as National Safe Digging Month and encourage customers to follow safe digging practices.

Common Ground Alliance was established in 200 and is committed to saving live and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices of today and tomorrow, according to their website.  The Alliance has nearly 1,700 individual members and 250 member companies in every facet of the underground utility industry. 

Anyone planning a project, such as installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio, anything that requires digging should contact 811.

CenterPoint Energy has implemented additional safety measures to protect the safe and health of it’s customers, employees and contractors, as well as to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Utility line locate companies are no exception and are properly equipped with person protective equipment while performing work. If you see CenterPoint Energy crews or CenterPoint Energy contractors performing work, please avoid approaching them and continue to practice social distancing, according to the press release. 

In the event a gas line is struck or ruptured outside of a home or business, customers are reminded of the following:

• Leave the area of the gas leak immediately, as well as areas where the odor of gas is noticeable.  

• Do not attempt to re-start or move powered equipment. 

• Call CenterPoint Energy to report the leak. The party responsible for the damage to the gas line should also call 911 and report the incident to police and/or fire officials and the state’s 811 center.

• Remain in a safe area until emergency personnel arrive and do not enter the home/business or neighboring premises.

 Visit Call811.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process. For more information on natural gas safety, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

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