SPONSORED: Before digging, call 811 to avoid striking underground utility lines

April is National Safe Digging Month

With spring’s warmer weather comes an abundance of pre-summer outdoor projects and the start of digging season. Duke Energy urges customers to call 811 at least three days before they dig. April is National Safe Digging Month.

The national “Call Before You Dig” 811 phone number was designated by the Federal Communications Commission to prevent injuries, utility disruptions and costly utility line repairs.

According to the Common Ground Alliance, there are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the United States and an underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes because 811 wasn’t called prior to digging.

"Safety is paramount at Duke Energy,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida state president. “Even simple digging jobs, like planting trees, gardening or installing a deck, can cause serious injuries and disrupt vital services if they interfere with underground utilities. Before starting a project, call 811 to safely determine where underground cables are located.”

The free service notifies utility companies, which then send crews to identify and clearly mark underground electric, natural gas, water, sewer, phone, cable TV and other utility lines. Crews use above-ground stakes, flags or paint to mark restricted areas before a customer begins a digging project.

Once a property's underground utility lines have been marked, customers know which areas to avoid when digging.

For more information about 811, visit www.call811.com, Duke Energy’s “Call Before You Dig” website or watch this video.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 8,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company’s Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

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