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811 Call Before You Dig

Don’t forget to call 811 

Building a deck? Planting a tree? Installing a mailbox? 811 is the number you should call before you begin any digging project.

A federally-mandated national "Call Before You Dig" number, 811 was created to help protect you from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines. Think first, please and don't make risky assumptions about whether or not to get utility lines marked before digging. Sometimes this happens because of concerns about project delays, costs or landscaping design disruption. These assumptions can be life-threatening.

Every digging job requires a call – even small projects like planting trees or shrubs. If you hit an underground utility line while digging, you can harm yourself or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood and potentially be responsible for fines and repair costs.

You may recall having to call OUPS (Ohio Utilities Protection Service) for this service. Calling 811 automatically routes you to OUPS, or you can call OUPS directly at 800-362-2764. Either way, you must call before you dig.

Facts For You to Know

  • Trees account for more than half of all power interruptions.
  • Tree damage to power lines can create severe public safety hazards such as fires or electrocution.
  • Electricity travels at 186,000 miles per second and can flow through water. Spraying a power line could have the same effect as grabbing the line with your bare hand.
  • Consider all electrical lines and electrical utility equipment dangerous. Keep away from them and keep all objects (ladders, antennas, kites, etc.) away from them.
  • Warning signs are clearly posted at various locations and on utility equipment that may pose a threat of possible electrocution. These signs have been installed as a warning for your safety, so please read and obey.
  • Keeping clear access to utility electric equipment gives line crews the room to perform inspections and repairs -- and keeps everyone safe.
  • Note:  It is Hancock-Wood's policy only to locate the electrical wiring/facilities from the transformer to the meter base.
  • View our right-of-way clearing specifications.


  • Can I trim my own tree?
    Yes, but only if you can maintain a safe distance of at least 10 feet from power lines and other electrical equipment. There is a serious risk for any tree trimmer working close to a high voltage power line. If you have a tree that is too close to power lines for you to safely prune, call us.
  • My trees aren’t touching the power lines, so why do you have to trim them?
    Hancock-Wood needs to take care of trees that could pose safety or reliability issues before someone is injured or experiences a power outage. This applies to trees with branches that could come into contact with power lines during heavy winds, causing blinking lights or momentary outages.
  • When and how will my trees be pruned?
    Hancock-Wood will prune a tree only when the tree poses the safety and reliability risks of coming into contact with power lines. Tree-trimming crews are very diligent in trimming only what is absolutely necessary. National standards require that a minimum distance of 10 feet from energized or potentially energized electrical equipment must be maintained.
  • Where should I plant trees and shrubs?
    When full-grown, trees and shrubs must be at least 10 feet away from power lines and other utility equipment such as transformers

We demonstrate our Concern for Community by volunteering and donating to local charitable causes. Nearly $500,000 in grants have been distributed in the last decade through grants and Operation Round Up funds to individuals and organizations in need. We also provide assistance to Habitat for Humanity, schools, churches and community events. To learn more, click on Community Involvement above. learn more

Members benefit from electric service reliability, competitive rates, money after co-op bills are paid in the form of patronage/capital credits, discounts, informative co-op publications, easy-to-access payment plans, rebates, scholarships, family-friendly Member-only events and a vote in the direction of Hancock-Wood Electric Co-op. To learn more, click on Member Benefits above. learn more

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative has granted more than $100,000 in scholarships within the last decade. An additional Power Systems Engineer (PSE) Scholarship has been added to the program. The winner of this scholarship is eligible for paid internship(s) in the co-op’s engineering department. learn more