Pacific Gas and Electric
Tips of the Trade
PG&E's COVID-19 Response
Fall 2020: Everyone's resources have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can help prevent delays by pre-marking your proposed dig area in white and notifying 811 of your planned excavation with as much lead time as possible: up to 14 calendar days in California.
To learn more about PG&E's response to COVID-19, click here.
Four Steps for Safe Demolition

Review these tips with coworkers at your tailgate or toolbox meetings before work begins to help avoid potential hazards when working near natural gas pipelines or electric power lines.

Before starting any demolition, deconstruction or significant renovation projects, including building elevation or additions, take these steps to ensure your job proceeds as safely as possible:

Digger Demolishing House

Order a FREE worker safety training kit on the PG&E e-SMARTworkers website.

Order Kit

NEVER risk lives and property by attempting to demolish a structure that is still connected to electric and natural gas services.

1. Call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000

Do NOT begin the job until PG&E has shut off the natural gas and electric service, disconnected the gas service lateral and the electric service drop, and removed gas and electric meters. For service disconnects, call 1-800-743-5000.

2. Notify 811 Before You Dig

If the job involves digging or moving earth in any way—such as removing footings, foundations or tree stumps—be sure to call 811 or place an online locate request at at least two working days before you begin (not including the date of notification, weekends and legal holidays). This free service will arrange for underground power lines, gas lines and other utilities to be located and marked, so you can dig a safe distance away from them. Remember, notifying 811 is required by law in California. Additional notifications and onsite meetings may also be required for demolition projects.

After utility services have been disconnected, safe digging practices continue to be critical. Even minor damage to temporarily disconnected gas service lines can result in gas leaks when service is restored, threatening fire, explosion, and loss of life and property. Minor damage to underground electric power lines can result in equally dangerous problems when power is restored.

3. Conduct a Visual Site Survey

Before work begins, conduct a visual inspection of the structure and the surrounding property:


Confirm all utility disconnects. If utility disconnects are required, double check to make sure the electric and natural gas meters and the electric service drop wire have been removed from the structure. Also confirm that the gas service has been disconnected from the gas source.


Look for power lines, poles, guy wires and pad-mounted equipment remaining on or near the job site. Assume all power lines are energized, and mark a safety boundary to keep people, tools and vehicles at least 10 feet away from them.

4. Review Your Emergency Plan Before Work Begins

Make sure everyone at the job site knows what to do in case of an unforeseen electric or natural gas utility contact. This is especially important for partial demolition jobs, where electric or gas service may continue to be supplied to a portion of the property.

Would You Like to Know More?

Additional digging guidelines and training tools can all be found at no charge to you on the PG&E e-SMARTworkers website.

Call 811 before you dig

Dig safe

Damage to a natural gas pipeline can cause a gas leak that can result in a fire, explosion and/or injuries.
Call 811 or use the online ticket system at at least two working days (not including the date of notification) prior to starting work.

Make the call

If you suspect a gas leak or if you contact a gas pipeline or electric power line, call 911 immediately then PG&E at: 1-800-743-5000.

Stay alert and look up

Keep yourself and all tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Only qualified line-clearance tree trimmers can work in the 10-foot safety zone.
For more contractor safety information, visit
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