VANCOUVER -- As the weather warms up many people are looking to tackle outdoor projects.

These often involve digging or excavation.

There is an important step that homeowners and contractors must do before they break ground: they need to click or call BC 1 Call to find out where buried utilities are located on the property.

This is an important step for big and small projects, even if homeowners are looking to plant a tree or dig a small hole for planting a shrub.

To submit a ticket to BC 1 Call, the following information will need to be provided:

  • name and contact information;
  • the exact location of the dig site;
  • how deep the dig will be;
  • when the excavation work is planned to begin; and
  • whether digging is taking place on public or private property or both.

BC 1 Call is a free service and easily accessible via phone or online.

The number to call is 1-800-474-6886 and it is available Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST (excluding stat holidays).

A ticket can also be submitted online at

The ticket should be sent at least three business days in advance of the planned project start.

Maps and instructions from BC 1 Call's members will be provided in regards to the underground infrastructure of the property.

This will outline all pipes and cables on the dig site so it is clear where it is safe to dig.

This step not only avoids accidentally causing disruptions to major services, but also protects personal safety.

Ian Pike, spokesperson for the Community Against Preventable Injuries, says that 40 to 50 British Columbians per year are hospitalized due to explosions and ruptures.

Some of these injuries could have resulted from hitting a utility line.

Pike emphasizes that many of these injuries are preventable.

And personal safety is not the only concern. For example, when a natural gas line is damaged it can have serious consequences.

Service disruptions for the homeowner and neighbourhood can occur. On top of that, the property owner can end up on the hook for costly repairs.

If a property owner needs help understanding the information or directions related to Natural Gas, FortisBC will walk them through it.

FortisBC can be contacted at 1-888-822-6555 and they have additional information at