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Florida City Gas offers safe digging tips

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Florida City Gas is reminding homeowners and professional contractors to call 8-1-1 at least 48 hours/two working days before starting any project that requires digging or excavation. Examples of qualifying events include building a deck, installing sprinklers, or any number of outdoor projects. 

This reminder coincided with National 811 Day, which is celebrated on Aug. 11. It is a day that promotes the importance of requesting a locate to mark underground utility lines, which helps prevent serious injury, costly property damage and inconvenient utility service interruptions.

Florida City Gas is providing the following safe digging guidelines for homeowners and contractors:

Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig: When starting an outdoor project involving digging, make contacting Sunshine 811 at 8-1-1 or 1-800-432-4770 part of the plan. Calls to the free locating service can be made up to 14 days in advance. The requests to have utility operators mark underground facilities, including natural gas, electric, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines, can be made 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Wait the Required Time: Before doing any digging, customers are urged to call 8-1-1 and wait the required time to have underground utility lines marked. The approximate location of underground utility lines will be marked with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes that correspond to the utility. The color used for natural gas is yellow.

Respect the Marks: Once the lines are marked, use the appropriate digging methods, which may include hand tools, and dig no closer than 24 inches from the marked utility lines.

Dig with Care: Make sure the marks remain visible during the project. If the lines are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to call 8-1-1 to have lines re-marked.

If a natural gas line is accidentally damaged or the distinct odor of gas is present, call the Florida City Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 11-888-352-5325 from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or any equipment that might cause a spark.

For information about natural gas safety, visit www.floridacitygas.

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