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‘Tis the Season to Be Careful. When Excavating, Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig. Just Make One Call: It’s Easy, Simple, Fast, Free – and It’s the Law

The winter holiday season looks more like spring break this year with near-record mild weather – unseasonably high temperatures and virtually no snow cover.

Among other pleasant by-products of the mild weather is a longer outdoor construction season. More outdoor construction means more excavation work and that means more reasons to Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig.

By calling 8-1-1 before you dig, you’ll make sure utility representatives can identify for you the underground facilities they own and operate. That way, your digging does not strike any underground natural gas lines, electric cables, phone lines, water pipes or other utility infrastructure. Learn more about Call 8-1-1 here:

Those who damage underground facilities because they did not follow the Call Before You Dig regulations by calling 8-1-1 to arrange for locating assistance are subject to hefty fines and repair costs. In addition, the risk of a serious, even fatal, accident is all-too real if you hit an underground electric or natural gas line.

So, call at least two to 10 working days before starting work to arrange for locating assistance. The Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig program uses “Call 8-1-1” to report the proposed work site so the utility company’s qualified technicians can locate, mark, and identify utility-owned equipment with stakes, flags, or paint to clearly mark areas to avoid.

It’s easy, simple, fast, free --- and it’s the law.

To help make sure all calls get through for 811 assistance, Dig Safely New York has developed an online platform to provide another convenient way for those planning digging projects to submit a Location Request.

To submit a Location Request online, visit Dig Safely New York’s website at: and click “Submit a Location Request” at the bottom left of the screen. Then, register on the site and complete the online form.

Once the Location Request is submitted online, a utilities location technician will be scheduled to the site to mark what’s underground on the property and where it is to make sure excavators do not damage any critical equipment, pipes, or wires.

If you see an active excavation site or digging project, but you don’t see flags or painted markings, please call O&R at 1-877-434-4100 and report the location.

If you smell gas, immediately leave the area, and call 911, O&R’s Gas Emergency Hotline at 1-800-533-LEAK (1-800-533-5325), or your local gas utility. You can report gas leaks anonymously.

For more details about working safely around O&R’s underground and overhead equipment, see our web site at: For more information about the 811 One-Call Notification System, visit the website.

About Orange & Rockland

Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, is a regulated utility. O&R provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company) and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.