April is Safe Digging Month.
PROVIDENCE, RI (April 4, 2023) – Spring has sprung, and Rhode Islanders are getting eager to get their outdoor home improvement projects underway. That’s one reason April is recognized as Safe Digging Month. It’s also about helping to make Dig Safe® a household name, and to remind residents to call 811 before they start their next project to prevent damage to any underground utilities.
Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to Dig Safe at 811 or a visit to digsafe.com to submit a request to mark the location of utility lines below the ground. Whether you’re installing a deck, fence, or planting shrubs, doing it yourself or hiring a professional, state law requires that Dig Safe be notified before digging. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried will help protect your family and your community. Striking a single underground utility line can result in injury, repair costs, fines, and potential service interruptions. Calling 811 helps avoid an incident that requires police, fire, or utility response.
“Safety is a top priority for us at Rhode Island Energy, and we want to help keep our customers safe at all times,” said Michele Leone, vice president of Gas Operations at Rhode Island Energy. “We know many of them are excited to get started on landscaping and home improvement efforts, and we can’t stress enough how important it is to have them call 811 before digging. This is critical to protecting them and the communities where they live.”
Rhode Island state law requires you give Dig Safe at least 72-hour notice – not including weekends and holidays – before digging begins. A quick phone call to 811 or visit to digsafe.com connects you to their local call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. Professional locators then arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint, or both. The service is free of charge.
The utility marks should stay intact for the duration of the digging project. If the marks are compromised for any reason, call Dig Safe at 811. In Rhode Island, your ticket expires if digging has not started within 30 days from the date of issue.