April is Safe Digging Month 

Spring has sprung and you know what that means – many of the great American DIY-ers and green thumbs will take to their yards to start on a variety of outdoor projects. Whether you’re embarking on a new fence installation or cultivating a new garden, prioritizing safe digging practices is critical. Many utility lines, including natural gas lines, are buried just a few inches beneath the surface, so even if you’re just planting new flowers, it’s important to know where those utility lines are. Thankfully, all you have to do is call 8-1-1.  

This National Safe Digging Month, be sure to take time to dial 811 or visit 811beforeyoudig.com before commencing any home projects, regardless of the depth of excavation, and even when you hire contractors for the work. Not only does this protect you and your family, but also prevents any disturbance to hazardous utility lines that might lie beneath your lawn. 

What is 811, and why should you call? 811 is the national number for pre-dig safety resources. By calling this number just few business days before digging, you can request that the approximate location of buried utilities be marked with paint or flags — so that you’re equipped to dig responsibly and avoid any underground utility lines. 

This year, almost half of homeowners reported being impacted by a utility service interruption that lasted 3 hours or longer due easily preventable incidents like these. When you contact 811 before any excavation or digging, you not only protect your property against potential outages caused by unsafe digging but also help guarantee the health and safety of others. Damaging underground utility lines can result in severe injuries, making it all the more important to take just a few moments to make that call.  

The 811 “Call Before You Dig” hotline was created to help keep our communities safe and to prevent billions of dollars in property caused by unsafe digging. Every year, more than $30 billion of damage to underground infrastructure is reported. Despite this alarming figure, 56% of homeowners admit they intend to dig without notifying 811 this year. This April, remember the significance and impact that just one quick call can make for you, your family, and your community and dial 811 before taking on any project involving digging or excavation. Stay safe!