Public holidays in Easter and May are traditionally the time of year when thoughts turn to gardening and home improvements, and the start of the checklists that can go with some of those outdoor jobs. But have you added checking for underground cables to that list?

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is asking its customers to ‘click before they dig’ and to check its Safety website before embarking on gardening or outdoor DIY projects.

By taking a few minutes to access the Safety website, you’d be joining over 22,000 of SSEN’s safety-conscious customers across the north of Scotland and central southern England who have accessed the company’s specially designed site, which is packed with guidance and information on how you can stay safe when working in the garden and on projects around the home.

In the past twelve months alone, SSEN had over 480,000 requests for its network drawings, as customers paused their projects to specifically check underground cable safety before putting a spade in the ground; a simple act that could be life-changing, as Peter Vujanic, Head of Safety, Health and Environment at SSEN Distribution, explains:

“We know that springtime, especially during the Easter and May public holidays, is traditionally a busier time for people working on their homes and gardens, so we want to make sure our customers have all the information they need to work safely on their green-fingered pursuits and DIY projects.

“If you’re planning work in the garden, property maintenance or DIY that might bring you close to our underground cables, please take the time ahead of your project, to visit our website for guidance. If you’d rather have someone check for you, then you can book an underground cable assessment or call us for free and helpful safety advice from our dedicated teams.”

Peter continued:

“It’s a sad fact that, each year, around 50 people across the UK suffer life-changing injuries as a result of accidentally striking underground cables, and that’s a number we want to see reduced year-on-year.

“Raising awareness of the potential dangers lying beneath the soil in our gardens is our priority, so we can support you in enjoying those projects that brighten up your home and garden. Please help us to keep you safe by stopping for a few minutes and clicking before you dig.”

Striking an underground electricity cable can have serious, if not potentially fatal, consequences and while most customers will be gardening or carrying out DIY on a smaller scale, deeper excavations for tree roots, fence post replacements, footpath widening, or patio laying require safety checks to be carried out before any works are started.

For safety information or to book a free underground cable assessment, visit SSEN’s safety webpages at:

Customers can also use the free-to-call 105 number to request guidance on any works they are undertaking, or to report any issues they see on the network ahead of planned works.

Think before you dig

If you’re planning any property maintenance or DIY that might bring you close to our equipment, please get in touch so that we can help you work safely. If you’re working in the garden, please be aware of the presence of underground electricity cables. Light gardening shouldn’t present an issue but deeper excavations, for tree roots, fence post replacement, footpath widening, or patio laying might uncover a live cable.

Think before you dig