Officially, the first day of Spring is tomorrow, but our Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is getting a jump on the season today with a safety message I hope you'll read...and share.
Whether the calendar says so or not, when the weather warms and the crocuses pop up, we know that spring is here. And for tens of millions of Americans, that means it’s time to do some yard work.
But, before you start planting trees or installing fences, make sure you know what’s below by calling 8-1-1.
One call to 8-1-1 just two to three days ahead of time prompts local companies to mark their nearby underground utilities for free so that you’ll know what’s below and dig safely.
Underground pipelines deliver most of the energy we use to heat, cool and operate our homes, cars and businesses. Underground utility lines provide power, cable and water.
Serious accidents are rare, but the consequences can be fatal. In fact, excavation damage is the number one cause of pipeline incidents involving death or serious injury.
More commonly, you could cut off electrical power to your neighborhood or flood a nearby street. While these incidents cause less harm, they can still cost you plenty of money, discomfort, and embarrassment.
PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman notes, "There are millions of miles of pipelines and utility lines like cable and power under our yards, streets and communities. Striking one of these lines while digging can cause major inconveniences for you and your neighbors. And if you hit a natural gas pipeline, death and serious injury are also possible."
So don’t assume that you know what’s below; before you pick up a shovel, pick up a phone and make the call to 8-1-1.
As Administrator Quarterman said, "Calling 811 is toll-free and hassle-free, and so is making sure your friends and neighbors know about it."
If you want to help others avoid costly and dangerous accidents, tell your neighbors and friends about 8-1-1:
- Share the 811 link and logo on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In & Instagram
- Post the 811 logo and link on websites
- Post the 811 logo in email signatures