Calling Before You Dig Saves Lives

April 17, 2018


Every nine minutes in America someone risks their life by striking an underground utility line. Rocky Mountain Power is urging customers to protect themselves and their families by dialing 811 two days before doing any digging.

“Installing a fence post or planting a tree are among the many commonplace projects that should trigger a call to 811,” said Tom Davis, Rocky Mountain Power’s director of safety. “Those may seem like simple, harmless projects, but the hazards are very real. If you hit a buried electric line, it could be fatal.”

The Call Before You Dig line is a national toll-free number the puts customers in touch with a locating service that alerts local underground facility owners so they can mark the approximate location of their lines with paint or flags.

There are nearly 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the United States. These buried facilities, including gas, water, sewer, cable TV and high-speed Internet provide the services Americans depend on for their basic everyday needs.

If you don’t know where they are buried before you dig, you are in danger. Even if you are lucky enough to not be harmed, you could be responsible for causing a service outage in your neighborhood — and potentially be responsible for the substantial repair costs, said Davis.

The Call Before You Dig system has been active for many years. However, according to a recent national survey, 45 percent – nearly half of people who plan to dig this year – will not call 811 first.

To learn more about electrical safety or to order free electrical safety materials visit the Rocky Mountain Power website.

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