The good news is that nearly all these accidents can be prevented by calling 811 before digging.
When you proactively call 811 before breaking ground, crews visit the site free of charge to mark the land where underground pipelines exist. That way, you know the spots to avoid and limit the need to call emergency repair crews, all while respecting your neighbors and the area around you.
Excavation work is the most common cause of natural gas emergencies. This includes something as small as digging or plowing around a home for an improvement project to breaking ground on a new building development.
Safe digging makes communities safe. Do your part. Call 811 before you dig!
Calling 811 before digging on any property is the law. Knowing where to dig is as easy as:
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Businessowners, future customers and the general public want to know that you’re a responsible member of the community where you operate. Show them you respect the law and follow proper protocol by calling 811 before digging.
Once the lines are marked, use the appropriate digging methods and hand dig within 24 inches of the marked utility lines. This will help prevent any damage to underground utility lines.
Nicor Gas monitors excavation activities around critical infrastructure. If, after contacting JULIE, it is determined that your project location is near a critical natural gas line, you will be contacted by a member of our Watch and Protect team. In many instances, a Nicor Gas representative will be onsite during digging. This service is free.
Make sure the marks remain visible during the entire project. If the marks are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to call 811 to have lines re-marked. Excavation work, including hand digging with a spade or shovel or plowing around a home or business is the most common cause of natural gas emergencies. If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinct odor of natural gas is present, call 911 and the Nicor Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 888.Nicor4U (888.642.6748) from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or any equipment that might cause a spark.
*Residents within the city of Chicago dial 312.744.7000