April is National Safe Digging Month
What if I told you I had the secret to preventing most pipeline damage and accidents – the secret to saving lives and property? What if I told you that secret was as easy as dialing three numbers?
No, this is not an April Fool’s trick. It’s Call before You Dig, the very serious message being promoted this month by utilities and safety advocates across the country, coordinated by the Common Ground Alliance. The process is simple – before you start ANY digging project, dial 811 to make sure you know where your underground utility lines are. Both the call and the service are free.
Excavation damage is the leading cause of pipeline incidents in the United States. A pipeline is damaged once every eight minutes due to digging and construction activity, most of which could have been prevented if diggers followed proper protocol. Damage can result in power outages, expensive repairs and even loss of life. Safety is the American Gas Association’s (AGA) top priority, and we encourage you to help keep your friends and neighbors safe by spreading the word about safe digging.
Before you start any outdoor digging projects – even if it’s as simple as planting a tree or shrub, AGA and our members urge you to dial 811 to help ensure you avoid underground utility lines. By doing so, you’ll be connected to your local One Call Center, which will alert your local utility company. Crews will then locate any utility lines near your project and make sure they are properly marked so you can be sure to avoid them – all at no cost to you. It’s that simple. You can find out more about the process here.
Join AGA and our members across the country in observing National Safe Digging Month throughout the month of April. Here are three easy ways you can participate:
- Make the 811 Promise and ask your friends and family to do the same.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see what your local gas utilities are doing to increase awareness in their communities, and spread the word to your followers.
- Show your support by changing your social media profile pictures or banners to the Call 811 logo.
Pledge to make the 811 Promise. Call 811 before you dig, and ask your friends and family to do the same. Not doing so would just be…foolish.