April is National Safe Digging Month, reminding Florida residents to call 811 before planning any digging projects. With the arrival of Spring, many homeowners use this time of year to update their landscape by planting flowers and trees around their homes. As a responsible homeowner, safe digging should be a top priority.
According to research conducted by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), roughly 42 percent of homeowners will not call 811 before starting a digging project on their property. Digging without knowing where underground utilities are located can result in services such as gas, water and sewer, communications, and gas lines becoming disrupted or turned off to your home and community. Just one dig in the wrong place cannot only cause issues for you and your neighbors but could result in serious injury. Here are some tips to consider before you start your next digging project:
- Call 811 a couple of days before digging, regardless of the scope of your digging project.
- Confirm with 811 all your lines have been marked prior to digging.
- If you are using a contractor/company for your yard work, be sure they have contacted 811 and the proper utilities have been marked before they begin work.
- It is better to be safe than sorry. Move your project to a different location if it is near a marked utility line.
In Florida, the “Sunshine 811” number is a free service which notifies the utility companies and locators to come to your property to mark and locate utilities before you dig. As a homeowner, we highly recommend you contact 811 a few days before any planned digging projects to prevent incidents including serious injuries and service outages from occurring.