Back to School Supply Checklist: pencils, crayons, paper…call 811?

If you have kids, you’re probably in back-to-school mode. School shopping, registering for classes, coordinating drop-off and pick-up schedules – it can be pretty hectic. Perhaps you’re spending a little time unwinding in the yard or daydreaming about your next home improvement project.

There’s lots to remember during this busy season and it’s easy to forget things like calling 811 before digging in your yard. We’re here to help! Each year, we observe August 11 (8/11) as National 811 Day to remind homeowners and professional excavators about the importance of calling 811.

Making the simple call can protect your family and our community from disaster. The fact is, some utility lines are buried just a few feet below you. The last thing you want is to hit an electric or gas line while you’re digging in a flower bed. But it’s likely to happen if you don’t make the call to have professionals mark all the utility lines in your yard.

The danger is all too real. Homeowners place themselves at risk by not calling 811 before starting any project that requires digging. The scary truth is coming into contact with underground natural gas or electric lines can result in injury or death.

(Image) Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs, reminds us to call 811.
Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs, reminds us to call 811.

There is some good news. Reminders like National 811 Day are gaining some traction. In July 2018, CPS Energy and their contractors responded to 15,000 calls to have underground lines located. This is significant because getting these lines located and marked will help keep you and the community stay safe.

So, whether you’re planning to install a fence, mailbox or doing landscape work, be sure to call 811. It’s free and it’s the law. Call811 offers these tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and your project finished on time:

  • Always call 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
  • Plan ahead. Call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.
  • Confirm that all lines have been marked.
  • Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
  • If a contractor has been hired, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.
  • Visit for more info.

So, now you know, National 811 Day is intended to give you and our community a simple safety reminder during this busy time of year. No, there won’t be any fireworks or parades to commemorate this day, no family gatherings or cakes…but then again, this is San Antonio. We’re always on the lookout for another reason to throw a party!

John Moreno

John is part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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