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April is National Safe Digging Month

April marks National Safe Digging Month, an effort to raise awareness of safe digging practices across the country. Why was this month designated? Consider the following:

  • More than 200,000 underground utility lines are struck each year in the U.S.
  • 37% of all U.S. digging damages result from not calling 811 before digging
  • Utilities are buried only a few inches underground, making them easy to strike even during shallow digging projects
  • A recent survey found that half of Americans are “active diggers” who have done (or are planning to do) some type of digging project at home, but only a third have called or will call to get their utility lines marked
  • Digging can cause serious injury, property damage and outages and lead to costly fines

What is 811?

811 is a free, new federally-mandated FCC number. By calling 811, Underground Service Alert representatives will quickly notify local utility companies to begin the process of getting underground utilities marked. If you are planning to dig in or around your home or workplace, dial 811 and your call will be routed to a local call center. Depending upon your state and location will depend on how far in advance you will need to call 811 – it is recommend however, to call the number at least 2 working days before and up to 14 days in advance of an excavation

Representatives will come to your property and mark through color code what is buried below.

For more information about dialing 811 or Safe Digging Month click here.

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