RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- April is National Safe Digging Month and Virginia 811 wants to make sure people know to call before they dig.

When a homeowner or professional gets ready to start shoveling, they have to call VA 811 three days beforehand.

Even when putting in something simple like a mailbox or fence, experts stress that it is important to call first because people don't know what is underneath the surface.

"First thing is we don’t have x-ray vision, we don’t know exactly where things are," said Nikki Turpin, the education and marketing supervisor at Virginia 811. "You may have had something marked five years ago, and you're like, 'I remember exactly where it is.' It's so easy to contact us. We seriously make it easy. You can call us at 811, you can go on our website"

VA 811 is a free service that will mark the approximate locations of utilities and other underground hazards.

Virginia 811 and Ace Hardware are also teaming up to award four people with a $1,000 gift card towards their landscaping goals.