You might not pay much attention when the calendar turns to Aug. 11.

If you’re a baseball trivia buff, you might know Babe Ruth became the first player to hit 500 home runs on Aug. 11, 1929. Music aficionados might remember Elvis Presley released “Don’t Be Cruel” on Aug. 11, 1956. And who doesn’t recall that on Aug. 11, 1984, President Ronald Reagan joked during a radio voice test that that he signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever and that bombing would start in five minutes.

But we digress.

Call before you dig_interior art_080814There’s good reason to pay attention to today’s date. It holds special significance in the safety world. 8-1-1 is the number you need to call at least three business days before any digging so underground utility lines — including any PPL Electric Utilities lines — can be marked.

Calling 811 or 1-800-242-1776 is not only the law; it also helps keep you and others safe. The free call makes it easy for Pennsylvania One Call to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. Pennsylvania One Call will notify affected utility companies, who will then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines.

Striking an underground utility line can cause harm to you or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.

So please – call before you dig – whether it’s a simple landscaping project like planting trees or shrubs to building a deck or installing a mailbox. According to the Common Ground Alliance, an underground utility line is damaged every six minutes because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. Don’t become a statistic. Be sure to call 811.

For more information, visit www.pa1call.org.