April marks the start of spring digging season. 811 is using this month to strongly encourage individuals and companies to call before they begin digging. Making this free call helps prevent injuries property damage and inconvenient outages. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. Striking a single line can cause injury repair costs fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project no matter how large or small necessitates a call to 811. There is a perception that 811 is intended only for contractors or commercial jobs. DeWitt Fire responds to numerous residential incidents involving digging strikes to utilities.Installing a mailbox putting in a fence building a deck and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting. Many homeowners feel they know where utilities are buried on their property and many also dont think they will dig deep enough to come in contact with utility lines despite the fact that utilities can sometimes be just a few inches below the surface due to erosion and other topography changes. A national public opinion survey of homeowners conducted in February found that homeowners will call 811 for certain projects but not for all DIY landscape projects. It is important for homeowners to call 811 for any DIY projects even those as simple as planting shrubs or trees or installing a pole for a basketball hoop.