A weekly article that will offer information concerning the Kilgore Fire Department and provide safety tips for home and family.
When anyone digs in Texas, whether planting a tree or digging a foundation, there is a high probability of an underground utility line being within the site. Hitting an underground utility line does more than interrupt utility service, it risks the safety of the person digging and the public. So whose responsibility is it to prevent a shovel or a backhoe from nicking a gas pipeline or severing an electric line? The answer to that is it is everyone’s job because safety is a shared responsibility. It takes everyone to ensure safety.
• The person digging (excavator) is responsible for contacting 811 at least two working days, excluding weekends and State holidays, before digging.
• This triggers a notice to utilities with underground facilities near your dig site that you plan to dig and they need to mark their lines.
• The utilities send a locator (sometimes an employee, other times a contract locator) to mark with paint and/or flags where their underground lines are located.
• The excavator must honor the marks; this means any digging within 18” of either side of the marks must be approached with extreme caution.
• A commercial excavator should use hand tools and a homeowner should be careful until underground lines are exposed and you can see them.
By calling Texas 811 before you dig you are able to locate undergroung electricity, oil and gas, telecommunication lines, and water and sewer. When these steps are followed; there is less than a 1% chance that underground utility lines will be hit. When everyone does their part, the lights stay on and we’re all safer.