Before you reach for that shovel to start digging, remember to call 811, the free, national call-before-you-dig number, to ensure your buried utility lines are marked.
For the third consecutive year, Verizon is supporting April as National Safe Digging Month to bring attention to the importance of calling 811.
Verizon joins the Common Ground Alliance and its 1,400 members across the U.S. to highlight 811, which was established in 2005 by the Federal Communications Commission to prevent the unintentional strikes of underground utility lines while digging.
"Calling 811 is an easy and safe way to avoid striking any parts of the complex underground infrastructure of cables, pipelines and wires," said Diane McCarthy, senior vice president of global network field operations at Verizon and treasurer of the Common Ground Alliance board. "Calling before every digging project helps avoid harm to families and neighbors, disrupted service to an entire neighborhood and potential fines and repair costs."
Calling 811 works this way:
- Call several days prior to digging to ensure enough time for utility lines to be properly marked. Advance notification requirements vary by state.
- One free, simple phone call to 811 connects you to the local one-call center, which will notify all appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig.
- A representative from the center will ask for the location and description of the digging project.
- The center will notify affected utility companies, which will then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of the lines.
- Once lines have been properly marked, roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked areas.
According to the CGA, 170,000 underground utilities are damaged annually across the nation. Verizon is not only committed to the safety of its employees and the integrity of its network through 811, but also emphasizes the importance of having its professional locators respond in a timely manner to accurately mark Verizon underground facilities when others are digging.
The company promotes awareness of safe digging by distributing hats, gloves and other promotional items with the 811 logo. The items are given to Verizon field operations personnel who have cable locating, maintenance and emergency repair responsibilities; outside plant engineering personnel who are responsible for construction, protection, location and permanent restoration activities; and excavators, locators, municipal employees and right-of-way providers with whom Verizon works. In addition, the company is outfitting its fleet vehicles with 811 bumper stickers.
For more information about 811, click here.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.