Importance of House Numbers During Emergency

House numbers are not only convenient for finding addresses but necessary for emergency responders to locate those in need. Minutes matter so be sure that fire, ambulance, and police personnel can quickly find your address.

Burgess Health Center’s ambulance drivers are equipped with many tools to shorten their arrival time. However, house numbers are imperative for a quick reference. The harder it is to find the numbers, the longer it will take emergency personnel to arrive at the scene.

Take a moment to drive around after the sun has gone down and try to find a particular address that is unknown to you. It is not very easy. Emergencies can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time – including during a blizzard or in the middle of the night.

Area residents are encouraged to take a few moments to install house numbers or examine existing house numbers. According to the Live Safe Foundation, here are some of the basic requirements:

  • Must be Arabic numerals. Fancy numbers or numbers that are spelled out may be aesthetically pleasing but are very difficult to read from the street.
  • Need to be a minimum of four inches high and in a contrasting color to their immediate background. Brass or bronze numbers are difficult to see.
  • Must be displayed on the front of the dwelling and visible from the street.
  • If the dwelling is located more than 45 feet from the front lot line, the number should be displayed on a gate post, fence, mailbox, or another appropriate place that will make it visible from the street from all directions.
  • Cannot be obstructed by shrubs, trees, decorations, etc.

Do your part to help yourself and have your house numbers displayed near the front door, under a light in a size and color that is easily visible from the street. And if you live in a rural area maintain your house number sign that is near your driveway. Don’t let it get covered with snow this winter.

If the numbers on your house are not visible or easy to read, it will take emergency personnel longer to reach you. Those extra minutes spent trying to locate a property can mean the difference between life and death, so take the time now to be sure your house numbers may be seen from the street.