Every three minutes nationwide, an underground utility line is hit because of failure to call 8-1-1 before digging. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) reminds Floridians to call 8-1-1 before putting a shovel in the ground this spring!
“We’re spreading the word about safe digging for April’s National Safe Digging Month,” said PSC Chairman Ronald A. Brisé. “We hope people will recognize the importance of 8-1-1, just as they do 9-1-1, since the leading cause of natural gas delivery system accidents is hitting underground facilities.”
Chairman Brisé continued, “For information on safe digging, I encourage consumers to view a helpful 8-1-1 video tip on the PSC’s website.”
Digging for any type of landscape and home improvement projects without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can cause serious injuries, service disruptions, and repair costs if a line is damaged. Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not to get their utility lines marked, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which supports the 8-1-1 campaign.
The Federal Communications Commission has designated 8-1-1 as the national “Call Before You Dig” number. By calling 8-1-1, local Sunshine State One Call Center personnel notify affected utility companies to dispatch crews to mark your underground utility lines. Utility markings show those who dig the approximate location of underground lines and help prevent undesired consequences. This is a free service, so there is no reason to take a chance or make an assumption about the location of critical underground utility facilities.
Both professional contractors and homeowners should call 8-1-1 and follow the safe digging guidelines, not only during National Safe Digging Month, but every month. And, after your underground facilities are marked, dig with care!
For more information on the 8-1-1 campaign, visit www.call811.com, or access the PSC’s brochure on Natural Gas Utility Regulation in Florida at www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.