MAHONING VALLEY, Ohio (WKBN) – April is safe digging month and local experts are reminding you to call before you dig.

As the weather is starting to get nicer and more people are starting outdoor projects. There are steps you need to go through before you start digging.

Experts ask you to plan your digging projects in advance, then call 811 before you plan to dig.

They will come out and mark the ground where any gas lines are to make sure you don’t hit them when you’re digging.

The Executive Director with Ohio 811 says every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone started digging without calling 811 first.

By calling 811 first, you can prevent having to call 911.

“It is state law that homeowners who are going to start a digging project give us a call and they’ll come out within two days. So if you’re starting a weekend project give us a call no later than Wednesday and you’ll be set to dig for the weekend,” says Stephanie Moore, Senior Communications Specialist at Dominion Energy Ohio.

Experts want to remind everyone just to be a little more cautious when digging too. They say use hand tools when you can.

And pay attention for any signs of a gas leak, the smell of rotten eggs, if you hear hissing, whistling or roaring then immediately call 911.

Ohio 811 was founded in 1972 in downtown Youngstown. It was started for safety purposes and to avoid any service disruptions.

“What you’re going to need to provide is your address, the county you live in and any cross street. They will identify that and then send the notification to the utilities to come out and mark those lines,” Moore continues.

After they mark any gas lines you’re all set to dig. They just want to remind people to be extra cautious when digging and pay attention to any signs of a gas leak.