Demolition/renovation safety 2019-05-22T20:57:55+00:00

Utility safety during demolition or major renovation

Leaving natural gas service connected during demolition or major renovation can cause injuries or even deaths.

Protect your employees, clients, community and yourself by confirming that utility services have been disconnected before beginning work on demolition or significant renovation projects, including building elevation or additions.

Leaving natural gas service connected poses a hazard that could result in fire, explosion and loss of life and property. It can also lead to undetected gas leaks that can cause damage or threat to life at a later date.

Contact National Grid well in advance.
Fifteen to thirty business days before you begin major renovation or demolition work on or around any property, you or the property owner should contact National Grid to arrange to properly disconnect natural gas service and have the meter removed.

  • Phone your local National Grid Customer Service Center to talk with a representative about the scope of your project and get the required application form:
    • Long Island and the Rockaways: 1-800-930-5003
    • Metro New York: 1-718-643-4050
    • Upstate New York: 1-800-642-4272
    • Massachusetts: 1-800-233-5325
    • Rhode Island: 1-800-870-1664

Be clear about the work that is being done.
It is not enough to request a simple shut-off of the gas when major work is planned. Shut-off is for transition to a new resident/owner when no construction or renovation is involved, and it is not safe to leave utilities connected while demolition or major construction is underway.

Do not begin work until you have a Service Line Disconnect Letter. 
Once the gas service has been disconnected, National Grid will provide a Service Line Disconnect Letter confirming this fact. The local building/permitting department may ask to see this letter before issuing a permit.

Gas service line alteration form

  • You may apply for the natural gas disconnect and Service Line Disconnect Letter on the property owner’s behalf, if the owner provides an affidavit authorizing the work.
  • National Grid charges a fee to disconnect an active gas service line and obtain the Disconnect Letter and a fee when the work is complete.

Confirming that natural gas service has been disconnected before work can safely begin is the shared responsibility of everyone involved with your project.

Contact National Grid for expert guidance.
When you are planning significant renovation or demolition, only National Grid can answer your questions about natural gas service. To protect your employees, clients and our community, call National Grid’s Customer Service Center for help on how to proceed safely.

Phone your local Customer Service Center at:

  • Long Island and the Rockaways: 1-800-930-5003
  • Metro New York: 1-718-643-4050
  • Upstate New York: 1-800-642-4272
  • Massachusetts: 1-800-233-5325
  • Rhode Island: 1-800-870-1664

National Grid contractors

National Grid is here to help. Don’t hesitate to call when you have questions about how to work safely around natural gas.

Once the natural gas service has been properly 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.

In New York:

Step 1. Plan your job and pre-mark your dig area with white paint, flags and/or stakes.

Step 2. Call 811 or make an online request for utility locates at least two full working days before any excavation starts, excluding the date of your call, weekends and legal holidays. At no cost to you, the 811 center will notify member underground facility owners in the immediate area, so the location of pipelines and other facilities can be marked prior to excavation.

  • Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk and the Rockaways: Notify 811 or 1-800-272-4480 or visit NewYork-811.com.
  • Upstate New York: Call 811 or 1-800-962-7962 or visit digsafelynewyork.com.

Step 3. Wait the required time for utilities to locate and mark their buried lines or to inform you that no utilities are present in your dig area.

Step 4. Respect the marks when digging.

Step 5. Dig with care and use ONLY hand tools or vacuum technology within the “tolerance zone,” which spans the width of a marked utility plus 24 inches from each indicated outside edge.

In New England:

Step 1. Plan your job and pre-mark your dig area with white paint, flags and/or stakes.

Step 2. Call 811 or make an online request for utility locates at least 72 hours before any excavation starts, excluding the date of your call, weekends and legal holidays. At no cost to you, the 811 center will notify member underground facility owners in the immediate area, so the location of pipelines and other facilities can be marked prior to excavation.

  • Massachusetts and Rhode Island: Call 811 or 1-888-DIG-SAFE (344-7233) or visit digsafe.com.

Step 3. Wait the required time for utilities to locate and mark their buried lines.

Step 4. Respect the marks when digging.

Step 5. Dig with care and use ONLY hand tools within the “tolerance zone,” which spans the width of a marked utility plus 18 inches from each indicated outside edge.

Contractor hand digging

Notify 811 before you dig. It’s the law!

If you contact a natural gas pipeline and/or suspect a gas leak, assume there’s a danger – even if the damage appears minor.

  • Warn others and leave the area quickly. Do NOT wait for utility personnel to arrive. Leave your equipment behind.
  • Do not use matches, lighters or anything electrical (even a phone, garage door opener or light switch) in the vicinity of the leak. A spark from any of these items could ignite leaking gas and cause an explosion.
  • Leave the excavation open and do not attempt to stop the flow of gas.
  • From a safe location, call 911 and National Grid.
    In Downstate New York, also call 811 or 1-800-272-4480.
  • Stay away from the area until National Grid personnel say it is safe to return.

To report emergencies, move to a safe location and call 911 and National Grid immediately. (See our gas and electric emergency numbers at the bottom of this page.)

Firemen responding to gas fire

Smell Gas. Act Fast.

For the safety of your employees, your clients, and your community, confirm that natural gas service has been disconnected before beginning work on demolition or major renovation projects.

House on risers