For Immediate Release
Calling 811 must be one of the first steps residents, businesses, and
contractors take before digging
PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 11, 2022) — April is National Safe Digging Month, and PECO reminds residents, businesses, and contractors that safe digging must remain a priority to prevent damage to critical underground energy infrastructure and keep communities safe.
Before taking on any project that involves digging, 811 must be called at least three business days in advance to identify the approximate location of underground utility equipment. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree, and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects where a call to 811 should be one of the first steps.
In 2021 alone, PECO was called to 688 incidents where damage was caused to underground electric or natural gas equipment due to unsafe digging practices. Beyond fines and costs for repairing damage to underground utility lines, taking the right steps before digging will help avoid accidental damage to underground lines that could disrupt services to surrounding neighbors, and more importantly prevent potential injury from striking an underground electric, natural gas, or other utility lines.
Despite damage prevention laws that have been in place for decades, recent statistics indicate that 32 percent of incidents are caused by someone who did not contact 811 before digging. A recent survey also states that 37 percent of homeowners who are planning digging projects, do not plan to call 811 beforehand, putting themselves and their communities at risk.
Residents and businesses should take the following steps if planning a digging project this spring:
PECO joins the Exelon utilities in marking National Safe Digging Month and is a member of the Common Ground Alliance to share best practices to promote safe excavation and lower instances of damage to underground lines.
To learn more, visit peco.com/safety.
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PECO, founded in 1881, is Pennsylvania's largest electric and natural gas utility. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PECO delivers energy to more than 1.6 million electric customers and more than 540,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. The company's 2,900 employees are dedicated to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas as well as enhanced energy management conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the largest fully regulated utility company in the nation with more than 10 million customers. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.