With many homeowners using the summer months to carry out home improvements, Wales & West Utilities is urging people to ‘dial before they dig’, in a bid to avoid costly home disasters.

The stark warning comes after the restart of construction post-Coronavirus lockdown has resulted in an increase in third party damage to gas pipes across the UK.

Beverley Robinson, Connections Manager for Wales & West Utilities, said:“Every day, underground gas pipes get damaged by people digging without knowing what’s below, which can be catastrophic.

“This can cause serious injury to you and others, and the costs of repair, fines and fees can be huge. Whether you’re planning an extension, decking, fencing, or just planting trees, make sure you know if gas pipes lay beneath the ground where you’re planning to work.”

Wales & West Utilities is urging everyone 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.

• I is for Investigate - it’s the only way to stay safe. Make sure you get an up to date copy of our gas plans and check if we 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.

Beverley added: “These three simple steps exist to help people who are carrying out work at home 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 are ready to help.”

For more information visit www.wwutilities.co.uk/dig.