southern california edison

Calling 811 is pay dirt to ensure safe digging

If you dig into the facts, you’ll find that nearly 40% of the estimated 31 million homeowners planning digging projects across the country this year will do so without first calling 811.

You’ll also quickly find that it is not only ill-advised but also a hazardous decision that leads to unintentional dig-ins to buried electrical, gas, water and phone lines as well as fiber-optic cable. In California, there are thousands of unintentional dig-ins every year and hundreds of thousands of dig-ins nationwide. These dig-ins can result in power outages, explosions, injuries and even death — as well as potential liability for the damages.

With National 811 Day on Aug. 11, Southern California Edison reminds homeowners and contractors that the only way to safely begin any digging project around the country’s more than 200 million miles of underground utilities is to call 811 or schedule an appointment online at least two working days before to have underground utility lines identified and marked for free.

“Calling 811 before digging anything, no matter how small the project, is the best way to avoid hitting an underground utility line,” said Nicole Kraus, senior advisor of Enterprise Risk Management & Public Safety at SCE. “We remind homeowners and professional excavators that calling 811 before any dig is the only way to perform this work safely and protect you and your community.”

To prepare for the utilities’ free markings, homeowners or contractors should pre-mark the area where the digging will take place with white paint, stakes with white flags, chalk or materials like flour or sugar.

This article was written by by Paul Netter, and Energized by Edison Writer.