CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Some home improvement projects require digging, but it isn’t safe to dig just anywhere.

April is National Safe Digging Month, this a reminder to call 811 to prevent damage to underground wiring and pipes when you dig. Dig Safe is a free service, but every job requires a call to 811 or file a ticket online. Massachusetts law requires everyone to call 8-1-1 at least three business days before they dig. Failure to call 811 could result in fines as high as $1,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for subsequent violations.

National Grid is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company that serves more than 20 million people throughout Massachusetts and New York. They work with local fire and police departments to ensure utility lines are marked to avoid risk before digging.

Across the nation, every nine minutes, an underground utility line is damaged, resulting in injury, repair costs, fines, and outages. Massachusetts state law requires anyone who plans to dig for any reason to call 811 a few days in advance. This is to prevent injuries and damage to underground utilities. Fines for not calling can be as high as $10,000.

“Safe digging plays a critical role in ensuring the safety of our employees, the public, and local communities that we proudly serve daily. Four in 10 U.S. homeowners who are planning to dig on their property this year will not contact 811 at least a few days in advance. That’s more than 49 million Americans who are putting themselves at serious risk of personal injury and utility service interruptions,” said Mark Prewitt, Vice President of Pipeline Safety & Gas Compliance at National Grid. “Calling 811 before you dig will help to protect you and your family, as well as your neighbors and the local community.”