April is National Safe Digging Month, and Public Service Electric and Gas Co. reminds customers -- and contractors and excavators -- to dial before digging.
When you call 811, the relevant utilities will come out and mark out areas, so your work doesn't hit underground pipelines, wires and cables. Striking these utilities can cause serious injury, as well as service interruptions -- which can result in fines and repair costs.
According to the Common Ground Alliance, which promotes safe digging, nationwide, someone damages an underground utility every six minutes by digging without calling.
Here are some details to bear in mind:
- It's not just a recommendation: you're legally required to call before digging.
- Call three full business days before digging.
- Even small projects, like planting a tree, require this call.
- If you're using a contractor, make sure they've called.
- "Respect the marks" -- hand-dig within two feet of marked lines.
For more information -- including what utilities the different colored mark-out flags represent -- click here.
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