Spring has sprung, and Floridians are eager to start digging their flower beds and gardens. Before planting your shovel in the ground, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) reminds you to know what’s below! April is National Safe Digging Month, and protecting yourself from hitting buried utility lines is as simple as dialing 811.
“Striking a buried line could cause a service outage, personal injury, or property damage,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “April’s safe digging message is good to keep in mind year-round. Safety is a PSC priority, and we want to prevent folks from getting hurt or knocking out their neighbors’ power during outdoor projects.”
An 811 call, which is the federally designated call-before-you-dig number, notifies affected utility companies to dispatch crews to mark the location of underground utility lines to help prevent damage.
Besides the possible disruption of vital services and destruction to property, careless digging can result in repair costs, fines, and even injuries. According to the Common Ground Alliance, every nine minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
In Florida, 811 accepts calls from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and is managed by the Sunshine State One Call Center, a nonprofit corporation. It’s recommended that residents call 811 two full business days before beginning their digging project.
For more information on the “call 811 before you dig” campaign, visit www.call811.com or access the PSC’s Consumer Tip, 8-1-1 Know What’s Below. The annual campaign, which runs each April, is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.