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Kamloops is digging its safety record

April is Safe Digging Awareness Month and Fortis is getting the word out to the public to call before digging
EEcol Electic utility specialist Brian Kidwell demonstrates proper methods to nearly 60 participants in a day-long B.C. Ground Disturbance Seminar sponsored by FortisBC on March 7.

Compared to similar-sized cities, Kamloops is No. 1 in the province for fewest number of gas line breaches due to digging.

According to FortisBC, Kamloops had the highest number of damages for a medium-sized community just nine years ago.

April is Safe Digging Awareness Month and Fortis is getting the word out to the public to call before digging. 

“We have seen a decrease in gas line damages in Kamloops of over 65 per cent in the last 10 years,” said Ian Turnbull, damage prevention and emergency services manager at FortisBC.

“We are pleased to see that Kamloops is trending in the right direction and we want to thank the City of Kamloops and its citizens for putting safety first.”

“FortisBC has talked with us about examples from around the province of near misses,” said Mayor Ken Christian.

“We fully support their safe digging protocols and value the importance of understanding all underground utility locations before beginning work. The City of Kamloops considers safety a top priority and has an excellent record in regard to safe digging. We are happy to be recognizing best practices during this campaign.”

Although Kamloops has seen a reduction in gas line damages, FortisBC wants to remind everyone to continue working safely around natural gas infrastructure.

This is important whether digging a small hole in the yard or excavating a job site. When a natural gas line is damaged, it can have serious consequences such as interrupted service and repair costs.

What to do before you dig:

• First, call 1-800-474-6886 or go online to before you dig to find out where gas lines and other utility lines are buried.

The call and information is free. Make sure you call a minimum of three business days before you start your project.

• Second, follow closely the information you receive from FortisBC. If you need help understanding the information or directions, call 1-888-822-6555 and a representative can assist.

Use the information that FortisBC provides to mark the location of gas lines on your site.

Dig by hand first to expose the gas line if you are working in this area and do not use any power equipment within one metre of the gas line.

For more information about digging safely, go online to