Dig Safe

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. Contact Dig Safely New York at 811 or 800.962.7962, or use the Dig Safely New York online form.
  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 800.572.1121 for natural gas or 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.

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.

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 GFCI's (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 our Look Up...Look Out! page.


  • What should I do if I suspect a gas leak?  
  • Who do I contact if I need to dig on my property?  
  • How can I detect a natural gas leak?  
  • How can I stay safe around electricity?  
  • What should I do to prepare for a storm?