When one thinks of Missouri, it's easy to conjure images of the Gateway Arch, tranquil lakes, and bustling urban centers. However, just below the surface of our beloved state lies a labyrinth of critical underground utilities that power our daily lives. This vast infrastructure supports everything from our cozy home heating to our incessant digital communication needs.
Telecom vs. Natural Gas: A Surprising Statistic
Most of us, if asked about potential hazards linked to underground utilities, might immediately think of natural gas – the silent and invisible fuel that has occasionally made headlines due to leaks or explosions. Yet, a closer look at the data reveals a rather unexpected fact: The telecom industry faces damages to its facilities, or to others in its sector, twice as often as natural gas stakeholders. This statistic is a call to attention, underscoring the need for diligence across all utility types, not just those that seem most overtly hazardous.
Why Telecom Matters
In this digital age, telecom lines are more than just conduits of voice or data; they're the very sinews of our connected society. Damage to these lines doesn't merely translate to a temporary loss of internet or cell service. The repercussions can ripple outwards, affecting emergency services, disrupting businesses, impacting remote work and schooling, and incurring hefty repair costs.
The telecom sector’s susceptibility to damage isn’t just about financial losses or temporary inconveniences. In certain situations, damaged telecom lines can pose safety threats, especially when they intersect with other utilities. For instance, if an excavator inadvertently cuts a telecom line and a nearby gas line simultaneously, the consequences could be catastrophic.
Toward a Safer Missouri: Every Dig. Every Time.
These compelling reasons highlight why every individual, contractor, and organization must prioritize safety, particularly when engaging in excavation or ground-disturbing activities. So, how can we, as Missourians, play our part in shifting these statistics in a positive direction?
The first step is straightforward yet crucial: Always contact Missouri 811 before starting any digging project.
Missouri 811 serves as the state's primary contact for public utility locates, ensuring that everyone from homeowners planting trees to contractors laying new infrastructure can dig safely. By visiting Missouri-811.org or simply dialing 811, you can gain access to vital information about the utilities lurking beneath your dig site. This isn't just a precautionary measure—it's a step toward proactive protection.
Empowerment Through Awareness
While visiting or calling Missouri 811 is vital, our shared responsibility doesn't end there. Spreading awareness among peers, family, and community can amplify the message greatly. After all, every individual made aware is another potential accident averted.
Remember, utility safety isn't just the responsibility of professionals in the field. It's a community-driven mission, where everyone has a role. By educating ourselves and encouraging adherence to safety protocols, we collectively contribute to the well-being of our communities.
A Call to Collective Responsibility
Envision a Missouri where safety isn't just a checkbox but a collective ethos. A state where every dig is preceded by a click or a call, ensuring that our shared underground assets remain undamaged, functional, and safe. This vision is within our grasp.
As we dig deeper into the 21st century, let's ensure that our commitment to safety remains unshaken. Safety is in your hands. Every dig. Every time. Together, we can make a tangible difference and chart a safer trajectory for our beloved Show-Me State.