If you didn’t call Texas811 in the first place and mistakenly cut into a utility line, here’s what to do:
- If someone has been injured, call 911 immediately.
- ASAP, report that you’ve cut into a line and follow the directions from the authority.
- Stay away from the damaged line. Let professionals take care of it.
- Warn others of its status and potential for harm.
- Consider these additional safety and information tips.
When all proper notifications have been made and the safety of people has been assured, then don’t cry over spilled milk, as they say. But do let it fortify you with knowledge for the next time around. You should always, always call Texas811 before you dig, or anyone digs, on your property. Texas811 will contact the proper utilities, who will mark the utility line locations to protect people from digging and excavating into them (and save you a lot of headaches as they work to protect your health and safety). Do you know that underground power lines may be buried at a shallow depth such as eighteen inches below the surface? (That’s not very far if you’re digging).
An ounce of prevention…
If you have kids (small or big), teach them about safety:
- Electricity is not something that we can see, hear, or smell. But touching it can have disastrous consequences, even death.
- Don’t play near utility lines of any sort, either near the ground or up above. (Don’t fly a kite near a utility line).
- If you think that someone is being shocked, do not touch the person—call 911.
- Know that the best practice is to stay away from utility lines, especially if you’re wet.
- Don’t try to put out an electrical fire with water (it won’t work).
Remember, when it comes to digging near utility lines (or anywhere in your yard, because you won’t know where the line are located unless you call Texas811), it’s always easier to ask permission than to deal with consequences after-the-fact. (Because that saying, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” doesn’t apply to potentially life-threatening situations). So contact Texas811 before you dig to preserve, health, welfare… and your property.