Call before you dig. It’s that simple.

Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling MISS DIG at 811. So, with 811 Day (Aug. 11) almost here, we’re giving you the scoop on safe digging.

In short, 811 Day is a reminder that taking simple action to “know what’s below” can help you avoid disaster – even save lives. Calling MISS DIG three days before digging allows utility companies to come out and mark underground utility lines, so that you don’t accidentally hit one. It’s fast, free and the law.

Here’s the scoop:

  • Shallow digging is still digging – Buried utility lines are everywhere! Installing mailboxes and fences, and even planting a garden or pitching a tent are examples of simple projects that absolutely require a call to 811 to know what’s below before digging.

Hitting an underground line can result in a gas leak or knock out other services to your home or business and result in fines, damage and serious injury. Call 811 and get the 411.

  • Double check with your contractor – If you’ve hired a contractor or landscaper, make sure the call to 811 is made before digging begins – whether it means you making the call, or your contractor doing so.
  • Do NOT remove the flags – The colorful flags used to mark the underground lines can be very attractive to young children and pets. For your safety and that of crews, please do not remove the flags. Make sure children and neighbors also know not to remove the flags.  If you are mowing, mow as close as you can without running over it.

If the flags are accidentally removed, DO NOT attempt to place them back in the ground. Never assume you remember where the flags were located, as this could lead to a gas leak or interruption of other utility services. Call MISS Dig again to have the flags replaced.

Need more safe digging tips? Join us at DTE’s 811 Day celebration and Bark in the Park event with DTE’s safety pup, Nora!