By: Lori Traweek, AGA, Senior Vice President & COO
Safety is the top priority for the American Gas Association (AGA) and our more than 200 natural gas utility members across the country. It is the very reason AGA co-founded the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an organization dedicated to educating professionals and homeowners about the importance of following safe digging procedures, in 2000.
This past April marked the seventh annual National Safe Digging Month, an initiative put in place by the CGA to remind the public to “Call Before You Dig” to determine where your underground utility lines are located before beginning any digging to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. The depth of utility lines vary and there may be multiple utility lines in the same area. Even simple digging projects can damage utility lines and can disrupt vital services to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers, and potentially result in expensive fines and repair costs. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before each digging project begins helps protect you from injury, expense and penalties.
To get started, dial 811 to be connected to your local One Call Center which will gather information about the project and alert your local utility company. Crews will then locate the utility lines near your planned project and make sure they are properly marked so you can be sure to avoid them.
Promoting safe digging awareness is just one of the many ways America’s natural gas utilities continuously work to keep communities safe and to help ensure our distribution and transmission system continues to be the safest and most reliable method of delivering energy in the nation.
In conjunction with National Safe Digging Month, AGA released a YouTube video to help educate youth about the importance of natural gas safety in the home. The animated video, aimed at elementary and middle school aged children, explains which appliances may use natural gas, how to identify a natural gas leak and what to do if a leak occurs. These key safety messages are critical for children, family and caregivers to understand.
For more information about natural gas service in Oklahoma City, please contact ONG.