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Kelowna  

72 gas lines hit in 2015

Central Okanagan residents aren't remembering to call before they dig.

With 72 hits, the area saw the second highest amount of damage from struck gas lines across B.C. last year.

Vancouver saw the most preventable contacts with FortisBC’s natural gas infrastructure, hitting 94 lines, while Surrey rounded out the top three with 68 hits.

In 2015 alone, there were more than 1,000 preventable contacts with buried natural gas lines due to unsafe digging, causing millions to be paid by contractors and individuals for repairs.

“While virtually all natural gas line hits are preventable, we still saw a slight increase from the previous year in the number of contacts with our infrastructure,” said Doyle Sam, the utility company's executive vice-president of operations and engineering.

Contractors and homeowners are reminded to call BC One Call before digging. The call is free, and you only need to call three days in advance of starting your project.

In 2015, $2.5 million was paid to repair damaged gas lines.

“Call before you dig is the first step to ensure your safety and damage prevention. Working so closely with FortisBC allows us to align our messages together to reach more residents in B.C. with safe digging information,” said Gary Metz, executive director of BC One Call.

Underground lines serving your home or construction site can include gas and electricity, water, telephone and cable TV. Knowing what facilities are buried on the property is essential before excavation to avoid potentially dangerous accidents.

Here are the three easy steps for safe digging:

  1. Call or click: Call BC One Call at 1-800-474-6886 or click on bconecall.ca to make an e-ticket locate request.
  2. Review: Within two days, you’ll receive your natural gas line location information. Review it before digging.
  3. Clarify: Need help understanding where it’s safe to dig? Call FortisBC at 1-888-822-6555.

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