Now that the weather in many parts of the country has warmed up, more people will be working outdoors -- professionally or on projects of their own.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is reminding homeowners and anyone else who’ll be doing a digging project to call 811 first.

“Eight-one-one should become as familiar to Americans as 911,” said API pipeline director Peter Lidiak. “April is the traditional start of digging season, and unsafe digging is a leading cause of pipeline damage and injury to the public. We strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging. “

Lidiak notes that millions of Americans live, work or play near or above pipelines and other underground infrastructure.

The API encourages homeowners and professional excavators to take the following steps before any digging project:

  • 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 with your local one call center that all lines have been marked
  • Learn what the various colors of paint and flags represent at
  • 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.
  • Be safe. Call before you dig. Every time you dig.

Visit today to learn more about 811 and safe digging practices.