A company which provides power for Oxfordshire is reminding customers of the importance of safety checks for underground cables when carrying out gardening or home improvement projects.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has made the warning as activities such as these often take place during the public holidays in Easter and May.

However, many people fail to incorporate checking for underground cables into their spring cleaning checklists.

SSEN urges their customers, especially those intending to partake in "green-fingered pursuits and DIY projects", to 'click before they dig' and check the company's website for safety advice.

Peter Vujanic, head of safety, health and environment at SSEN Distribution, said: "We want to make sure our customers have all the information they need to work safely on their green-fingered pursuits and DIY projects."

The company's user-friendly platform is dedicated to ensuring customer safety and providing helpful guidelines for working safely in spaces where underground cables may be present.

The site has seen more than 22,000 customers from the north of Scotland and central southern England accessing the platform over the last year.

Over the same period, SSEN has received more than 480,000 requests for network drawings to avoid the dangers of accidentally striking cables underground.

Mr Vujanic continued: "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."

He made a plea for continued caution, emphasising the potentially catastrophic consequences of striking a cable.

Each year, around 50 individuals across the UK sustain serious, life-altering injuries as a result of accidental contact with underground cables.

Mr Vujanic added: "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."

For jobs which require digging deeper such as tree root excavation, footpath widening or patio laying, SSEN recommends booking a more comprehensive underground cable assessment for assurance of safety.

The company also encourages customers to report any issues they notice on the network preceding any planned work and offers free guidance on works being undertaken.

Information on underground cable safety can be found at SSEN's safety webpages, and for further assistance, customers can use the free-to-call 105 number.