Every three minutes nationwide, an underground utility line is hit because of failure to call 8-1-1 before digging. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) reminds Floridians to call 8-1-1 before putting a shovel in the ground this spring!
“Hitting underground facilities is the leading cause of natural gas delivery system accidents,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “April is National Safe Digging Month, so we encourage professionals and homeowners to call 8-1-1 and follow the safe digging process to help prevent injuries, property damage, and inconvenient outages.”
Chairman Graham continued, “For information on safe digging, I encourage consumers to view a helpful 8-1-1 video tip on the PSC’s website.”
Digging for any type of landscape and home improvement projects without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can cause serious injuries, service disruptions, and repair costs if a line is damaged. Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not to get their utility lines marked, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which supports the 8-1-1 campaign.
The Federal Communications Commission has designated 8-1-1 as the national “Call Before You Dig” number. By calling 8-1-1, local Sunshine State One Call Center personnel notify affected utility companies to dispatch crews to mark your underground utility lines. Utility markings show those who dig the approximate location of underground lines and help prevent undesired consequences. This is a free service, so there is no reason to take a chance or make an assumption about the location of critical underground utility facilities.
Remember to follow the safe digging guidelines and dig with care after your underground facilities are marked, not only during National Safe Digging Month, but every month!
For more information on the 8-1-1 campaign, visit www.call811.com, or access the PSC’s brochure on Natural Gas Utility Regulation in Florida at www.floridapsc.com.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.