Fewer number of gas lines damage incidents in B.C. compared to last year: FortisBC


FortisBC released a 2023 report showing that damage incidents to their gas lines were down in 2023 as more British Columbians are clicking or calling before they dig.

In 2023, FortisBC saw 844 instances of damage to underground gas lines. Nearly 70 per cent of the incidents were the result of work performed without contacting BC 1 Call prior to digging. Of the other 30 per cent, most did not appropriately use the information provided or did not dig by hand first.

“Of the 2023 recorded damage incidents, the region with the highest percentage of line strikes is Metro Vancouver at 327 (38.7 per cent), followed by Thompson Okanagan at 183 (21.6 per cent) and Vancouver Island at 132 (15.6 per cent). For individual municipalities, the City of Surrey reported 64 damages (7.5 per cent) in 2023, making it the city with the highest number of incidents, followed by the City of Vancouver with 58 (6.8 per cent), Kelowna with 41 (4.8 per cent), Burnaby with 38 (4.5 per cent) and North Vancouver with 33 (3.9 per cent).”

In a news release, FortisBC public safety program manager Tanya Kowalenko said that approximately 90 per cent of damages to gas lines are preventable by following safe excavation practices.

“It is very promising to see our damage incidents decreasing by about 10 per cent year over year since 2020,” said Tanya Kowalenko. “We commend British Columbians for all the work being done to educate and mandate safe digging practices. However, even one incident is one too many.”

As warmer weather approaches, FortisBC is concerned that the increase in landscaping, gardening and renovation projects could increase the risk of more incidents of damage to underground infrastructure.

With April being Safe Digging Month, FortisBC and BC 1 Call are asking B.C. residents and contractors to call 1-800-474-6886 or go online before digging.

Tchadas Leo

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