The statistics are alarming — two in five homeowners will put themselves and their communities at risk by digging in their yard without calling 811.

In honor of National Safe Digging Month, We Energies is teaming up with the Milwaukee Fire Department to remind customers to always call 811 at least three days before they dig to have their underground utilities marked.

“This is a free service that is provided so that even if you’re just doing something simple in your yard,  dial this number, they will come out, they will mark whatever specific area you want them to mark and then you can dig with a tremendous amount of reassurance that you’re not going to injure yourself or cause damage or a shutdown of gas that they’ll have to repair, ” said Milwaukee Fire Department Chief Aaron Lipski.

“You’re not only putting yourself in jeopardy, you’re putting his guys and our first responders in jeopardy. Last year for example, we had our crews out for over 600 calls for damages to underground facilities, and of that, close to 100 of them were because people did not call 811 and use that free service ahead of time,” said Andrew LaTona, Senior Operations Supervisor.

Whether you’re digging a firepit, planting a tree or installing a fence, call 811 at least three days before you dig to keep yourself and others safe.