Digging Safely

Digging Safely

By Krista Lockhart
Call 811 Before You Dig

Digging Safely: The Importance of Calling 811 Before Excavating in Your Yard

Digging in your yard may seem simple, but what lies beneath the surface can pose significant risks to you, your property, and your community. Calling 811 before digging is not just a precaution; ensuring safety and preventing potential disasters is crucial. This blog will explore why homeowners should make that call before breaking ground in their yards. 

What is 811? 

811 serves as the nationwide call-before-you-dig hotline. If you are contemplating any excavation of your property, it is essential to dial 811 or visit your state’s 811 center website a few business days before digging. This ensures that the approximate positions of buried utilities are marked with paint or flags, significantly reducing the risk of accidentally hitting an underground utility line. 


Why Call 811 Before You Dig? 

Calling 811 before digging is crucial to ensure safety, prevent damage, and streamline excavation. Here is why it is essential: 


  • Underground Utilities Exist Everywhere – Beneath your property lies a network of essential underground utilities, such as water, gas, electricity, and telecommunications. Striking any of these can result in severe consequences, including service outages, property damage, and even personal injury. 


  • Legal RequirementIn many places, contacting 811 is not just a recommendation; it’s the law. Homeowners must notify their local 811 center before digging to avoid any potential damage to underground infrastructure.


  • Preventing Service Disruptions – Hitting a utility line can lead to service disruptions for your home and the entire neighborhood. This inconvenience can be avoided by calling 811 and allowing utility companies to mark the location of their lines.


  • Avoiding Costly RepairsRepairing damaged utility lines can be a costly affair. Homeowners may be responsible for repair expenses, making a simple call to 811 a cost-effective and prudent choice.


  • Protecting the EnvironmentAccidental damage to underground utilities can result in environmental hazards. Leaking gas or chemicals can harm soil, water, and wildlife. By calling 811, you contribute to environmental conservation by preventing such incidents.


  • Ensuring Personal SafetyStriking a utility line poses a significant safety risk. Gas leaks, electrical shocks, or water damage can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. Prioritizing personal safety by calling 811 is an essential responsibility for any homeowner.


  • Efficient Planning of ExcavationKnowing the location of underground utilities allows homeowners to plan their excavations more efficiently. By avoiding utility lines, projects can proceed smoothly, saving time and effort. 


When You are Planning to Dig 

Call 811 at least three days before you dig anywhere on your property and before starting a project. A locator will mark lines on the property. The service is free. 

Call 811 before installing septic tanks, sewer lines, swimming pools, wells, sprinkler systems and water lines, basketball goal posts, mailbox posts, fence and deck posts, and trees and shrubs. 

Even if you have had lines marked for previous projects, call 811 whenever you plan to dig. The depth of utility lines can vary for several reasons, including erosion, previous projects, and uneven surfaces. The risk of striking a utility line exists even when digging only a few inches. 


Once Your Lines Are Marked 

Always dig around the markers – not on them. Always dig by hand within 30 inches of the markers, depending on the requirements in your state. Excavation equipment can damage underground lines. 

Calling 811 before digging in your yard is a simple yet powerful action that can prevent many problems. It ensures the safety of your home, community, and the environment while saving you from potential legal and financial repercussions. Digging responsibly is not just a homeowner’s duty; it is a collective commitment to maintaining the integrity of our underground infrastructure. So, before you grab that shovel, call 811 – it is the first step towards a safer and more secure excavation experience. 

Unleashing Back-to-School Success

By Joe Lees
Kid using a laptop

Unleashing Back-to-School Success: The Power of Fiber Internet for Seamless Learning Experiences

The new school year is closer than you may think, and for students and teachers as the new school year gets underway, reliable fast internet connectivity is essential. Fiber Internet stands out as a significant contributor to meeting their demands since it provides the efficiency and dependability required for successful educational experiences. Learn more about why Fiber Internet is vital for back-to-school success.

Faster Internet Speeds: Students may access online resources, stream educational content, and participate in interactive learning platforms with less lag or buffering thanks to Fiber Internet. The exploration of large knowledge vaults and maximal learning potential are made possible by high-speed internet.

Enhancing Remote Learning: Ensuring great audio and visual quality during virtual classroom encounters is key to online learning success. Fiber Internet delivers the speed and low latency required for streamlined video calls. Smart City Telecom’s Fiber Internet to the Home allows for effective feedback, real-time conversations, and active engagement.

Reliable Connectivity: Due to its resistance to interference and bad weather, Fiber Internet offers reliable access. With uninterrupted access to online platforms and instructional resources, students may maximize their learning opportunities.

Large Bandwidth Capacity: The high bandwidth of Fiber Internet supports households with numerous students and devices. A seamless online learning environment is ensured by the fact that simultaneous usage of laptops, tablets, and smartphones doesn’t impair speed or performance.

Future Proof Infrastructure: Fiber optic infrastructure provides scalability and can accommodate increasing data demands. As technology advances and educational resources become more data-intensive, Fiber Internet ensures that your home remains equipped to handle the evolving needs of students. It offers a long-term solution that can adapt to future technological advancements.

Fiber Internet is essential for a successful back-to-school season. Its lightning-fast speeds, seamless video conferencing, reliability, and future-proof infrastructure support digital learning, collaboration, and readiness for technological advancements. With Smart City Telecom’s Residential Fiber Internet service, we offer our customers options of 400 Mbps and 1 GB of Internet, ensuring they have the bandwidth they need. Students and teachers can start on a linked educational journey that supports growth and achievement by utilizing Fiber Internet. Upgrade to Smart City Telecom’s Residential Fiber Internet service here today or call us at 407-828-6700.

Battling Hurricanes

By Krista Lockhart

Your Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Florida’s Stormy Season

Living in the beautiful state of Florida comes with its fair share of challenges, one of which is the ever-looming threat of hurricanes. As an enchanting tropical paradise, Florida is no stranger to these powerful storms that can leave devastation in their wake. However, by being well-prepared and equipped, you can ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones, and your property. In this blog, we will dive into the essential steps you need to take to be fully prepared when a hurricane comes knocking at Florida’s door.

Smart City is actively preparing for this year’s possible hurricane outages and reviewing all policies and procedures with our Smart City team members to be ready to mobilize and restore service in the event of service loss. Please note, if you lose power, contact your local power provider before contacting Smart City. Check out our Storm Center page for more information.


Stay Informed

Knowledge is power, especially in the face of a hurricane. Stay updated with the latest news and weather forecasts from reputable sources such as the National Hurricane Center, local meteorological departments, and trusted news outlets. Be aware of the hurricane categories, storm surge risks, and evacuation orders specific to your area.


Create a Solid Emergency Plan

Developing a well-thought-out emergency plan is crucial for your safety. Discuss evacuation routes with your family and establish meeting points in case you get separated. Assign responsibilities to each family member, such as gathering important documents, packing emergency kits, or securing the house. Ensure that everyone understands the plan thoroughly to minimize confusion and panic during critical moments.


Stock Up on Supplies

Before the hurricane season starts, it’s essential to stock up on necessary supplies. These include non-perishable food items, drinking water, batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, medications, toiletries, and extra clothing. Don’t forget to include items like a manual can opener, a battery-powered radio, and a portable phone charger. Prepare enough supplies to last for at least three to five days. Download our disaster supply kit checklist here.


Secure Your Property

Protecting your home is a top priority when it comes to hurricane preparedness. Reinforce doors and windows with storm shutters or plywood. Trim trees and secure outdoor furniture, grills, and other loose items that could become dangerous projectiles in high winds. Consider investing in a generator to ensure a backup power supply during potential outages.


Document Important Information

Gather and organize important documents such as insurance policies, identification papers, medical records, and contact information for emergency services. Make digital copies and store them in a secure cloud-based service or a waterproof, portable storage device. This will ensure that you have access to vital information even if physical copies are lost or damaged.


Stay Connected

Maintaining communication during a hurricane is crucial. Make sure you have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio to receive updates if the power goes out. Keep your mobile phones fully charged and have backup batteries or portable chargers available. Inform your loved ones about your whereabouts and let them know you are safe. Consider downloading relevant apps like weather trackers and emergency alerts for real-time information.


Preparing for a hurricane in Florida requires proactive planning and a focused approach. By staying informed, creating an emergency plan, stocking up on essential supplies, securing your property, documenting important information, and staying connected, you can minimize the potential risks and ensure the safety of yourself and your family. Remember, it’s always better to be over-prepared than caught off guard. Stay vigilant, stay safe, and weather the storm with confidence.