April 16, 2009
ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 16, 2009 — April is designated “Safe Digging Month,” and Southern California Edison (SCE) wants to remind customers to call 811 before starting any construction, home improvement or gardening projects that involve digging. Making contact with underground electricity and gas lines can be dangerous, even fatal, so it is important to know where the lines are buried.
Customers are encouraged to call 811, a free hotline, at least two working days before doing any excavation work or building projects such as installing pools, decks, digging trenches, even planting trees or shrubs. SCE will send a technician who can locate and mark where all the utility lines are buried at the work site or home. This service is free.
“Safety is paramount. Digging before checking in advance for underground utility lines and then hitting them could lead to disruptions in electrical service to neighborhoods, cause harm to you and others as well as result in fines and costly repairs. We want to help our customers take every precaution to avoid a potentially dangerous situation,” said Cecil House, SCE’s senior vice president, Safety, Operations Support and Chief Procurement Officer.
Over the last three years, SCE recorded approximately 800 digging incidents where critical underground electrical lines were cut and damaged. In some cases, the accidents caused power outages, injuries and damaged utility components.
The depth of underground utility lines varies, and there may be several lines buried in one area. Even a simple backyard project can pose a hazard. SCE urges customers to use the free 811 service to get the information they need to complete their building projects safely.
For more information about the 811 service and to get more safety tips, visit www.sce.com/Safety/worker.
Media Contact: Media Relations, (626) 302-2255
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.