Call before you dig … yes, you!

We’ve all heard the refrain…Call before you dig.

You might think this is for construction workers or excavators. But it applies to you, too, even if you want to plant flowers in your front yard. Thousands of underground utility lines are damaged every year, including gas, electrical, water, and sewer. It happens every six minutes in the United States, resulting in millions of dollars worth of damages. 

The solution is simple. Call 8-1-1. 8-1-1 is the national number for requesting a professional survey of underground utilities on your property or wherever you are planning to dig. According to, you should request a study before you dig to prevent the disruption of services, or more severe consequences, including death, that could result from hitting a gas line or buried electrical cord.

Plan ahead

While the response time varies by state, you should be able to expect the survey to be completed within a matter of days. Once you call 8-1-1, a representative will contact the utility companies in your area to mark any underground lines. It’s essential to verify that all utilities have finished their survey before you begin digging. Any markings will be good for approximately 30 days, but again this varies by state.

Other tips

  • Surveys are only good for a set time. You’ll be given this timeframe when you call 8-1-1 to request the service. If your project extends beyond the deadline, you will need to request a new survey.  
  • If you know you only want a specific area of your yard surveyed, indicate that when you call 8-1-1. You may be asked to mark off the area in question. 
  • You are responsible for any damage to utility lines that occurs on your property, even if you’ve hired someone else to complete the work.

It’s free!

There is no cost for using the 8-1-1 service, so call before you dig and protect your property and yourself from a preventable accident.  

If you’d like to discuss other ways of protecting your home, feel free to call or contact Sea Mountain Insurance today. We’ll be happy to answer all of your home insurance questions.