Fortis BC is issuing a reminder to residents to call — or click — before they dig after three homeowners on the Island, including one in Langford and one in Sidney, struck underground natural gas lines in one afternoon.
On April 9, two of the three incidents were caused by homeowners doing home excavation projects in their yards, while the third was the result of putting up a for sale sign leaving FortisBC crews to conduct emergency repairs.
Chris Hyland, president and CEO of BC 1 Call said that while he understands the desire to get outside and do some yard work, it is “imperative that you know what is beneath you before you do.” He added that unnecessary damage pulls emergency resources, such as fire and first responders away from areas they are critically needed.
“If a line is damaged and repairs are needed, most crews wouldn’t be able to maintain the mandated physical distancing protocols while fixing the problem,” Hyland said in a statement. “This puts workers at risk to repair these critical services.”
According to Hyland there is already a usual uptick in calls during the spring, but with social distance regulations in place it is expected even more so this year.
“Fixing that fence can wait three days when you consider the cost may be a loss of access to your warmth, your social connectivity, or your ability to wash your hands. The impacts of losing our essential services right now could be catastrophic,” said Hyland.
By going online or calling BC 1 Call residents receive a free map of the location of all the underground utilities on the property so they can dig safely. Visit bc1c.ca for more information.