Usage and Safety 
dig safely and look up...look out!

Call Before You Dig

Whether you're a contractor or a homeowner doing an outdoor project, having underground utilities marked is essential to protect yourself and others from injury and prevent damage
to underground utility lines. Contact Dig Safely. New York at least 2 working days (not counting the day you call) but not more than 10 working days before you plan to start your project. Digging can be dangerous and costly if you don't have underground facilities marked before you start.

1. Plan for having underground utilities marked as part of all underground construction.

2. Mark out the area of construction.

3. Call Dig Safely. New York at 811 or 1.800.962.7962.

4. Provide adequate training and supervision on a jobsite to assure that good construction
    practices are followed.

5. Properly maintain all underground utility markings.

6. Hand dig in the area of underground facilities.

7. Provide adequate protection and support for underground facilities.

8. If our underground facilities are damaged or disturbed, notify NYSEG at 1.800.572.1121 
for natural gas or 1.800.572.1131 for electricity. We'll come right away to ensure the site is
    safe and make repairs if required.

9. Use and properly install suitable backfill material around underground facilities.

Whether you're a contractor excavating for a large project or a homeowner installing a mailbox, anyone who conducts earth moving activities should contact Dig Safely. New York before starting. It's free, it's easy and it's the law. 

Look Up...Look Out!
Be careful around overhead power lines. When working around your house, remember that things such as aluminum siding, gutters and ladders conduct electricity. If any of these items touch an overhead power lines, the results could be deadly.


  • Water and electricity NEVER mix. Keep power tools and extension cords away from water, including rain, wet ground, swimming pools, sprinklers and garden hoses.
  • Have a license electrician add weatherproof covers and GFCIs (ground-fault circuit interrupters) on outdoor electrical outlets to protect against electrical shock.
  • Leave cutting and trimming of trees near power lines to professionals. A tree or limb that comes in contact with a power line could be deadly.

Learn more at the Look Up...Look Out! page.


did you know?

Before you dig, you need to call Dig Safely. New York at 811 or 1.800.962.7962. It’s the law.

Contractors are required by state law to call Dig Safely New York. Homeowners who are planning digging projects are encouraged to call 811 as well. Or visit

Under state law, fines can range from $1,000 for a first-time offender to $7,500 for subsequent violations. Utilities may also charge to repair any damage as a result of failure to have underground facilities marked.


want to know more?

View a printable version of our Call Before You Dig and Look Up - Look Out! manual.