The Harford County Department of Emergency Services is joining the national "Call Before You Dig" campaign to help increase public awareness regarding the importance of calling 811 to have underground lines marked prior to digging.
Sunday, Aug 11, is "811 Day". The underground utility operators use the calendar date of 8/11 to remind people across the country to "call before you dig." Underground utility companies launched this nationwide campaign in May 2007.
Each year more than 200,000 unintentional line "hits" occur as the result of individuals who do not call 811 before digging, according to an emergency services news release. Subsequently many of these incidents result in calls to 911 centers throughout the country for fire and rescue assistance due to fires, explosions, spills, injuries or even fatalities.
A call to 811 anywhere in the United States results in the free marking of underground lines.
"The Harford County Department of Emergency Services is pleased to support the efforts of underground utility contractors in heightening public awareness to call 811 before digging for any type of construction or maintenance related project," said Richard Ayers, deputy director and emergency manager for the department.
"Many emergency responses to incidents resulting from broken or punctured underground lines could be avoided if people simply called 811 before breaking ground," Ayers added.