GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – There’s a lot of home improvement projects that require you to dig into the ground. But before you do that, there are some safety precautions you should take. Scot Runke and Scotty Kehoe, from DTE Energy are here to tell us more.

>>> See video above to learn more!

MISS DIG will arrange for crews to locate and mark underground utilities in the area you plan to dig. It’s fast, it’s free, and it’s the law.

Why bother?

There is more than 100 billion feet of buried cable, gas, electric, sewer, telephone and water lines in the U.S., and every 6 minutes an underground utility is damaged in our country because someone did not contact MISS DIG before digging.

DTE Energy recently earned national Gold Shovel Standard certification for demonstrating high safety standards and ongoing training and education for employees in industry best practices regarding safe digging. Now, DTE is requiring contractors who excavate for them to earn the same certification.

What does this mean to customers? Less likelihood of service disruption and damage due to an increased focus on digging safely to better protect customers, workers and buried utility infrastructure.

What can residents do to ensure safe digging?

  • Contact Miss Dig by dialing 811 or
  • Wait to dig until flags have been placed to mark utility lines on your property.
  • If digging near a marked line, expose lines by “hand digging”.
  • Leave flags in place until all underground work is complete.
  • City planners should encourage hired excavators to become Gold Shovel Standard Certified.

What should you do if you smell gas (rotten egg smell) or suspect a leak?

  • Do not use any electronic devices or open flames.
  • Leave the area immediately and go to a location where you no longer smell natural gas.
  • Call 911 and then your natural gas utility gas leak emergency line, DTE Gas can be reached at 800.947.5000.