With the summer months fast approaching and people’s minds turning towards their gardens, gas network Wales & West Utilities is urging people to plan ahead to avoid costly home disasters.

The warning comes during National Safe Digging Week, which seeks to raise awareness of the importance of searching before digging to avoid hitting underground pipes or cables.

Stephen Davies, Wales & West Utilities Plant Protection Manager, said:

“As we approach the summer months, we’ll all be pruning, trimming and tidying to get our outside areas ready to spend time with our loved ones.

“But it’s important everyone knows the simple steps to take to stay safe. Every day, underground gas pipes get damaged by people digging without knowing what’s below, which can be catastrophic: causing serious injury to you and others, while the costs of repair, fines and fees can be huge.

“So, whether you’re planning something big like an extension or decking, or whether you’re just putting in fencing or planting trees, make sure you know if gas pipes lay beneath the ground where you’re planning to work. And if you are planting, make sure you don’t plant over pipes or other utilities.”

Wales & West Utilities is urging people to remember three simple steps:

  • D is for Dial. Digging can be dangerous and hitting a gas pipe may cause a gas leak, a fire or explosion. Phone Wales & West Utilities first on 029 2027 8912 or go to www.wwutilities.co.uk/dig. You’ll receive all the information you need in advance – and it’s free.
  • I is for Investigate - it’s the only way to stay safe. Make sure you get an up-to-date copy of gas plans and check if Wales & West Utilities need to visit your home before you work. And if you have a gas meter, remember that your gas supply pipe will cross the ground in front of it.
  • G is for Go ahead – but with care. Make sure you’re careful, especially if you’re using a digger. Take all the precautions necessary to avoid damaging the gas network, yourself, others, and your bank balance. You will be billed for any costs if something goes wrong and could be prosecuted.

Stephen added:

“These three simple steps will allow people who are carrying out work in their garden to do it safely. We want to keep people safe and make sure their work goes to plan. Remember if you’re in any doubt, get in touch. Our team is ready to help.”

Wales & West Utilities look after the pipes that keep the gas flowing to heat the homes and power businesses of 7.5m people across Wales and south west England. They operate the gas emergency service, connect new homes and businesses, and upgrade the gas network so it’s safe today and fit for a green future.

If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and their engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, they’ll ask you to let them know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. They’ll still come and help you: but the teams will take some additional precautions to keep everyone safe.