Common Ground Alliance (CGA) partnered with 3M and Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. They are promoting the 811 “Call Before You Dig” phone number at the Aug. 7 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Biffle won this race in 2010. CGA is the member-driven association dedicated to protecting underground utilities and the people who dig near them, and 3M is one of the 1,400 members that comprise CGA. Biffle will promote 811 on the hood, deck lid and rear bumper of his No. 16 3M car during the race. The Pennsylvania 500 will air at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
Striking a line can result in outages for entire neighborhoods, harm to yourself or neighbors and repair costs. Every digging project warrants a call to 811. An underground utility line is damaged by digging once every three minutes nationwide, and one-third of these incidents are caused because no phone call was made to 811.
When a landscaper calls 811 they are connected to a local one-call notification center that will take their information and communicate it to the appropriate local utility companies. A professional locator will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of all underground utility lines with spray paint or flags. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.
“As a do-it-yourselfer, and someone who is known for being hands-on when it comes to my activities off the track, I strongly encourage everyone to call 811 before digging to know what’s below,” Biffle says. “Calling 811 will help make sure you don’t knock out utility services for everyone in the neighborhood, which can make you unpopular, especially on race day.”
3M, an international leader in utility and utility locating products, as well as utility damage prevention, was instrumental in securing the collaboration with Biffle, which will benefit all CGA stakeholders by raising awareness of the 811 phone number.
The inclusion of the 811 safety message onto Biffle’s No. 16 3M Ford Fusion is just the first of many initiatives throughout the month of August. Hundreds of CGA members will implement local awareness campaigns on Aug. 11 (8/11). On Aug. 26, Verizon will incorporate 811 into its ringing of the New York Stock Exchange closing bell.
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