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Play It Safe — Call 811 Before You Dig

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As the last weeks of summer approach and you head out to complete that digging project you’ve been putting off, here’s a reminder from Rocky Mountain Power to keep you safe.

A shovel hitting an underground power line can be as dangerous as coming in contact with an overhead power line, so, play it safe – call 8-1-1 two business days before you dig and get underground utility lines marked for free.

“And electricity is not the only utility located under ground, there are others, so that 811 number will put you in touch with all of the various utilities and you can get them all marked before you plant that tree or build that patio.”

Margeret Ohler, for Rocky Mountain Power, says a minimum clearance of 24 inches is required when using any power-operated or earth moving equipment. If it is necessary to dig within the 24-inch area, only use small hand tools such as a garden trowel and use extreme caution to avoid contact with the utility line.

If you need a direct number to the local underground utility locator service in your area, call Rocky Mountain Power toll free at 888-221-7070.

Understand the markings.

The American Public Works Association (APWA) standards are followed when marking the location of underground utilities. The following are some of the colors used and the associated utility: RED – electric power; YELLOW – gas, oil and petroleum; ORANGE – cable TV and telephone; GREEN – sewer and storm water; BLUE – potable water.

During an emergency, marked or unmarked, if an underground power line is damaged during digging, immediately call 911.  If a threat to human life exists  keep everyone away from the area until help arrives.

In addition, call Rocky Mountain Power so the line can be repaired. The toll free number to report the damage is 877-508-5088.

For additional electrical safety information or to order a free, ‘Power Lines – Stay Away to Stay Safe’ brochure, visit www.rockymountainpower.net/safety .

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