For many years tent companies around the country staked tents without concern. As we shift into a new age of special events, there’s in increased awareness for event safety, worker safety and keeping those expensive and dangerous underground utilities safe.
We are happy to be a part of this awareness effort! So here’s a bit about 811.
The official stuff: 811 is a three-digit calling code that has been mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It is the national “call before you dig” number that is used to request an underground locate before any excavation (staking is “excavating”) activity. www.811marking.com/what_is_811.html
We have been using this service since its inception and sleep sound knowing we are taking this simple step toward a safer workplace. The unfortunate part is that not everyone knows about it.
811 is a very simple FREE yes FREE (not many things are free today) process to confirm that there are no public underground utilities that can be damaged in the area you are staking your tent. Dangerous utilities like electric and gas as well as expensive utilities like fiber optics. It’s important to note that private underground power or gas lines are not free to locate and should be considered as well.
Our organization calls 811 before every staked installation. Here’s a sneak peek into the process:
First, we are required to call a minimum of three days before the installation to allow time for utility mark out. (When the installation is last minute, we opt to ballast our tents with cement to avoid staking.)
We are asked to provide information about the precise location, the type of equipment we are using, the contractor (us) and whoever is contracting us. The service notifies local utilities and if there might be a public utility line nearby, they send representatives to mark it out with color coded spray and flags. The tells our installers which areas to avoid during installation this hyperlink. It’s that easy!
It’s a pretty simple process and we are grateful to have the service available. The service is for everyone and be sure to use it the next time you do work on your property (like installing a fence or a pool) If it’s a tent, we’ve got it.
More information can be found at www.call811.com
Written by: Jonathan Retzkin