Springtime in Michigan means residents across the state are starting to dig in to their gardening and home improvement projects. In an era of Pinterest and Do-It-Yourself (DIY)people of all ages are turningto DIY to try to get their projects done quickly, and often more cheaply than hiring someone 

But not every DIYer can execute with Pinterest perfection, and while social media loves a good #DIYFail, some fails can be dangerous. April is MISS DIG awareness month, and at DTE, we want to make sure that you’re staying safe as you prepare for your next DIY outdoor project. 

Before you plant that tree to celebrate Arbor Day or Earth Day, or start digging in preparation for your new mailbox or fence post, you should plug one important phone call into your project plan: 8-1-1 for MISS Dig. Because, when it comes to digging outside, even the most talented DIYer could hit a major snag – or worse, a natural gas pipeline or electric cable – if they don’t take the proper steps for safety.  

Don’t let your next outdoor DIY project become a fail! 

Four simple steps are all it takes to be safe. It’s quick, easy and the law.

1. Dial 811 or visit MISSDIG.ORG at least three days before any jobs that involves excavating or hand-digging.

2. Wait until the flags are placed. MISS DIG, our partner organization, will come by and mark the lines and place flags for any underground utilities. Michigan Utility Colors are:

Red – Electric
Orange – Communication systems
Yellow – Gas, oil, steam or petroleum
Green – Sewer and drain lines
Blue – Potable water
Purple – Reclaimed water irrigation
White – Proposed excavation
Pink – Temporary surveying

3. Once flags are placed, dig by hand to carefully expose the lines in your project path before using any power equipment that could accidentally strike a natural gas line, which could expose your home and property to a gas leak or worse. If you don’t call MISS DIG before digging, and you strike a gas line, you could be left with an unwanted fine to pay for damages.

4. Leave the flags until work is complete, and avoid driving or parking heavy vehicles or construction materials on top of utility lines when possible.

Following these four simple steps will help ensure you continue to receive safe and reliable natural gas service.