AUSTIN, Texas -- Digging in? Texas Gas Service wants to make sure that if you are digging, you are doing so in a safe manner. 

  • Texas Gas Service conducted digging safety demo Thursday
  • Roughly 8,800 natural gas lines were struck in Texas in 2018
  • Striking line can be extremely dangerous 

“We want to make sure the safety steps are there during the entire deal,” says Christy Penders, PR Manager for Texas Gas Service. “It is honestly an emergency situation if one is struck.” 

Damages to natural gas lines are a big concern. Before any project, there is one thing every person should do:

“You need to call 811 at least two business days prior to starting your project,” Penders explains.

That's why they teamed up with first responders Thursday, hosting a live demonstration and showing excavators how to dig around a natural gas line.

“Make sure that you see either the paint or the flags that the line locators use to mark the underground lines,” Penders cautions.

These dangerous occurrences are far too common.

“In 2018 throughout the state of Texas, not just for Texas Gas Service but for all natural gas utilities, more than 8,800 were struck, which is a significant number,” Penders relays.

Especially in the ever-growing state capital of Austin.

“Construction absolutely is everywhere as you know and you know it affects traffic but it can also affect the utilities. Striking a line can lead to injury or an outage,” she says.

And if you do happen to hit one, be smart.

“We ask that you leave that area immediately and then call 911 when you are a safe distance away. Then, call Texas gas services emergency line," Penders says.