Today’s feature is from the Common Ground Alliance with the recent launch of a new (U.S.) national phone number, 811 and the website Call811.com :
Planning a home improvement job? Planting a tree? Installing a fence or deck? WAIT! Here’s what you need to know first:
Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling 811 before each job. Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get their utility lines marked, but every digging job requires a call – even small projects like planting trees and shrubs.
Here’s how it works:
- Dial 811 no matter where you live in the U.S.
- Your call will be routed to your local utility company
- Within a few days they’ll send someone to come mark your lines
- Now that you know where your lines are–you can safely start digging
- Read the details here: How It Works 
How much does it cost?
- It’s free 
What types of DIY projects require first locating power lines?
- Digging in mailbox posts
- Planting trees, bushes, hedges
- Building a deck or adding a fence
- Pouring concrete
- Read more details: When to Call 
What exactly is 811 and who runs it?*
811 is a new national “Call Before You Dig” number designated by the FCC to help protect homeowners and professional excavators from injuries, expenses and penalties. This new national safety resource will make it easy for homeowners and professionals across the country to protect themselves by calling before beginning any digging project, whether it be something small like planting a tree or installing a mailbox or a larger project like building an addition or deck.
Why bother calling first?*
A national survey showed that only 33% of homeowner do-it-yourselfers called to have their lines marked before starting digging projects. Simple digging jobs can damage utility lines, which can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers, and potentially result in fines and repair costs. Failure to call before a digging project results in nearly 700,000 underground utility damages annually – that’s more than one unintentional hit per minute.
*Thanks to Matt for contacting Tipnut.com and providing the info on behalf of The Common Ground Alliance (CGA). This is exactly the sort of thing TipNuts need to know :).
Feel free to pass the word around, I’m sure your blog readers will not only appreciate the tip, but keep things a little safer for everyone :).
For those of us not living in the U.S. (such as Canadians like myself), why not forward the info to your local utility company. This is a FANTASTIC idea to simplify and centralize the dial before digging program and will surely reduce injuries and accidents.