Media Contact: Paul Klein, (626) 302-2255

Knowing What’s Underground Prevents Power Outages and Injuries

ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 18, 2011 — April is “Safe Digging Month,” and Southern California Edison wants to remind its customers and the public to call 811 before starting any construction, home improvement or gardening projects that involve digging. Striking an underground electric line can be dangerous — even fatal — so it’s important to know where the lines are buried.

Customers and the public are encouraged to call 811 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. A call to 811 before digging helps protect against unintentionally hitting underground cables. SCE will send a technician to locate and mark for the company’s customers where all the electric lines are buried at the work site or home. This service is free.

“SCE wants people to be safe, especially around electric wires. Digging without knowing the location of underground utility lines can result in electric service disruptions and repair costs, and even cause serious injuries. We want to help the public take every precaution to avoid a potentially dangerous situation,” said William Messner, SCE acting director of Corporate Environment, Health and Safety.

Digging where critical SCE underground electric lines are can damage utility components, result in power outages and injure individuals. The rate of such dig-ins decreased by more than half in 2009 and 2010 from previous years. “Our hope is to see these dig-in occurrences continue to decrease through simple safety measures, such as calling 811 before you start a digging project,” Messner said.

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 potential hazard. Whether doing it yourself or hiring a professional, SCE urges the use of the free 811 service to get the information needed to complete building projects safely.

For more on the 811 service and for more safety tips, visit

About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.  


Southern California Edison Reminds You To Call 811 Before Starting a Digging Project