JACKSON, Mich., April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With spring finally arriving in Michigan, bringing with it weather ideal for outdoor projects, homeowners and contractors are reminded to call MISS DIG at 8-1-1 to have underground utilities marked before starting any digging.
Gov. Rick Snyder has declared April Dig Safely Month in Michigan, to encourage homeowners and contractors to call 8-1-1 before they dig to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. Every six minutes in the United States an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 8-1-1.
"For outdoor projects large and small, calling 8-1-1 before digging reduces the chance of causing damage to less than 1 percent," said John Quackenbush, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission. "That's how important the safe digging message is."
Quackenbush joined Dig Safely partners, including MISS DIG System, Inc., Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, SEMCO Energy, TransCanada and the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association on Tuesday in Lansing as part of the Michigan Safety Conference to share important information about safe digging.
"We join Gov. Snyder in strongly encouraging individuals and companies to call 8-1-1 at least three days in advance before any digging or excavation project begins. By having underground lines marked, homeowners are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe," said Dirk Dunham, damage prevention program manager for Consumers Energy and chairperson of the MISS DIG System, Inc. board of directors.
Safe digging procedures help prevent unintentional dig-ins to gas, electric, cable, water, sewer and fiber optic lines, and can prevent property damage as well as possible personal injury. Every digging job requires a call, from small do-it-yourself activities like planting trees and shrubs to large building and road construction projects.
Safe digging tips for homeowners include:
- Call 8-1-1/MISS DIG or visit www.missdig.org at least three working days before digging to have underground utilities marked.
- Wait to start projects until you're sure all lines are marked or cleared by the utility. This can be confirmed by contacting MISS DIG at 8-1-1 or response.missdig.org.
- Respect the marks and dig with care, especially if using power equipment. If your project is within four feet of the utility marks, modify your plans and stay more than four feet from the marks, or use a wooden handle shovel to carefully expose the lines before starting excavation.
- Ask your contractor to confirm 8-1-1 has been contacted before allowing any digging work to proceed.
MISS DIG System, Inc. has the largest total ticket-taking volume of any one-call center in the U.S., handling more than 20 million total dig notice requests since its formation in 1970. It has more than 1,000 participating members that mark their underground utility lines and provide overhead electric line assistance to ensure adequate clearances are maintained.
SOURCE MISS DIG System, Inc.