August 11 is National 811 Day. Call 811 before you dig to reduce pipeline damage.
Did you know there are more than 2 million miles of natural gas pipelines across the United States? This network makes up the safest energy delivery system in the country, and every day, customers and businesses rely on their local gas utilities to safely deliver the domestically-produced, clean, affordable natural gas they need to go about their lives. Safety is the top priority for the American Gas Association and its member companies, and the industry spends millions of dollars annually to upgrade and modernize natural gas infrastructure to ensure the safety of their customers and communities.
But third-party excavation damage – pipeline damage caused when a pipe is accidentally struck by equipment or activity related to digging such as that associated with construction activity, planting or home repair – is the leading cause of incidents in the natural gas pipeline system. Failing to take simple precautions to locate lines and dig safely can result in millions of dollars in damage, power loss and even injury or death.
The good news is this record is improving thanks to greater public awareness about safe digging practices, and the inception of the national Call Before You Dig campaign. All you and your neighbors have to do to help prevent pipeline damage is to dial three numbers – 811 – when planning a digging-related activity. Your local One Call center will notify your utility, which will send a locator to mark the location of your underground lines, pipes and cables so you can know where to avoid digging. This will save headaches, money – and most importantly – lives.
There are so many ways you can celebrate 811 Day this Sunday, August 11, and help spread the word. Here are 10:
- Make the 811 Promise.
- Listen to the 811 Song. Maybe do a little dance – we won’t judge.
- Watch an 811 video like this one, this one or this one.
- Find out if your local natural gas utility is hosting any 811 Day events. For example, Baltimore Gas & Electric will light up the sky and Pacific Gas and Electric is sponsoring several community events.
- Bake 811 Day cookies and share them with your friends or coworkers.
- At the beach? Draw 811 in the sand.
- Look out for 811 stickers, ads, posters or events. Maybe you’ll even spy the 811 Bike.
- Paint your nails like this dedicated One Call Center employee.
- If you bake cookies, draw in the sand, see a poster or do anything else, take a picture and let us know on Twitter or Facebook. Our favorite photos will be featured in a future blog post.
- Most importantly, spread the word. Tell your friends and neighbors to make the 811 promise, and always call before you dig.