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April is 'Dig Safe' month

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With spring in the air, Ontario homeowners are eager to start seasonal landscaping and outdoor renovation projects.

As such, Ontario One Call is urging homeowners to call or click before you dig as part of “Dig Safe” month this April.

Safe digging is serious business. In fact, it's the law.

Every Ontario homeowner, or their contractor, must contact Ontario One Call, the not-for-profit organization responsible for co-ordinating “locates,” prior to digging.

Ontario One Call is a free service. Simply call 1-800-400-2255 or visit www.on1call.com

Many homeowners are unaware that before digging, no matter how big or small the project, it's critical to contact Ontario One Call to prevent any unforeseen damage to buried cables or utility pipes.

This also will prevent the loss of essential services to homeowners or the surrounding neighbourhood.

“Whether you're building a deck or fence, digging a new pool, or planting a tree, play it safe and always contact Ontario One Call for locates,” said executive director Ben Hamilton.

“One click or call gives you the peace of mind knowing that you are protecting your home, family, and neighbourhood,” he noted.

Once a “locate” request is made, Ontario One Call arranges for infrastructure owners to visit the property within five business days to mark underground cables or pipes in the vicinity of the planned excavation.

Property owners who do not contact Ontario One Call, and damage underground infrastructure, are fully liable for all damages, which can run into thousands of dollars.

Similarly, a contractor can be charged and fined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Despite these penalties, however, Ontario One Call reports there are more than 4,000 incidents of underground cables or pipes being damaged every year because a “locate” was not requested.

The most frequent damage is to natural gas lines-a fire and safety hazard potentially involving police and the fire department.

The next time Ontarians visit The Home Depot, they are encouraged to pick up a brochure or our homeowner tips to learn more about Ontario One Call and how easy it is to request a “locate.”

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