Home Depot Rental Centers in the United States have partnered with The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an organization dedicated to the protection of underground utility lines, and promoting safety for those who dig near them, to educate tool rental customers about the importance of calling 811 before you dig.
A recent National Survey found that over half of the respondents who had plans to dig on their property did not plan to call 811, the local call-before-you-dig number, and have underground utilities located before proceeding with their DIY projects.
Failure by homeowners and workers to call before they dig, and have utilities located before proceeding with projects, results in numerous injuries and underground utility damages. The CGA reports an estimated 75,000 underground utility damages in 2009, most of them caused by people digging and not having utilities located first.
The most common do-it-yourself projects that result in underground utility damages include planting trees and shrubs, digging post holes for fences, digging for pilings or foundations for decks and other structures, and digging out a base to pour concrete for a patio or walkway.
Through their partnership with the CGA, The Home Depot plans to educate their tools and equipment rental customers about the importance of calling 811 before they do any home improvement project involving digging. The Home Depot will place 811 signs, posters, and literature by their tool and equipment rentals, and provide training for associates. The Home Depot hopes to be a big part of getting the dial 811 message across, to keep communities and tool rental customers safe.
Everyone who calls 811 a few days before they dig is connected to a local one-call notification center, where their information is recorded and communicated to the local utility companies. A professional locator is then dispatched to the property and will clearly mark out where the underground utilities are located. Once the site is marked it is safe to proceed digging carefully around the marked areas.