What It Means If You See Red Markings On The Pavement Outside Of Someone's Home

Have you ever walked outside to check the mail and noticed a smattering of brightly colored paint marks on your pavement, grass, or the street in front of your house? It's a common occurrence that most people can relate to. However, since a lot of folks don't work in the jobs responsible for these paint markings, we don't know what they specifically mean. Instead, we pretty much just have a vague idea that each color is for some type of utility or project. While each color communicates something important, it's arguable that red paint markings are extra high up on the food chain.

A veritable rainbow of paint colors have specific meanings designated by the American Public Works Association Uniform Color Code. For example, pink paint indicates temporary survey marking lines, and yellow paint is used to specify where gas, steam, petroleum, oil, or gaseous materials are located beneath. The list goes on with blue, green, purple, orange, and white all having their own meanings, all for the sake of consistency to avoid potentially dangerous or damaging incidents. If red paint markings are present, that means that electric utilities, like power lines, conduits, or cables are present. It can also indicate lighting cables. None of these are something that should be trifled with!

Why red paint markings are important

The whole purpose behind the color-coded system is to help people, companies, contractors, etc. avoid doing any unintended damage. For example, an underground utility line is damaged every six seconds according to The Underground Detective, often because people dig without calling the authorities to come locate and mark utilities. At a minimum, damage to the utility lines can cause service outages, which everyone can agree is extremely inconvenient. That can also leave the perpetrator holding the bag for fines and repair costs.

Although it's important to pay attention to every color coding, red paint markings that denote the presence of power lines are especially critical. This is because doing accidental damage to power lines can be extremely dangerous. The worker can be electrocuted if contact is made. Lines that have been damaged can also cause fires, putting the greater community at risk. So if you find the red markings to be unsightly or annoying, try to shake it off. First of all, they're temporary and will wash away eventually. Second, red paint markings (and the other colors) are all designed to serve the greater good. Above all else, call before you dig and make sure to only hire reputable professionals who abide by this rule.