When was the last time you looked at your own street address numbers? This is to remind you that a second can seem like a lifetime when you're waiting for emergency help to arrive, and unfortunately, help is often delayed, because emergency responders can't find the caller's street address.
A common complaint of firetruck and ambulance drivers is that house numbers are nonexistent or unreadable from the street. Once street numbers are installed, that's often the last thought given to them.
They get painted over, bushes grow up in front of them, and numbers fall off or just disappear. Try driving past your own home in the daytime and again at night to see how easy your numbers are to read. Some house numbers are selected for decoration rather than for function. A stranger will find your numbers more quickly if it's written in figures, 9134, instead of script ... Ninety one thirty four.
The size and location of numbers are important. They should be large, against a contrasting background, and placed so that they can be seen and read from the center of the street -- going in both directions -- on the darkest night -- in the worst weather.
Along with making sure that your
street numbers are visible and readable, you should write your street address on your telephone for babysitters, maids, or others who might not know the address, but who may need to call for help.
A friend tells the story of her maid calling the fire department and then not being able to tell them either the street name or number, because she was always picked up at the bus stop.
In an emergency, would your house number or mailbox be easy to read from the street, day or night? Your house number or mailbox are critical landmarks guiding police, fire, or aid to your door.
Remember, if Public Safety can't find you, they can't help you.
Some communities such as Windsor, California that have helicopter units even want homeowner to put numbers on their rooftops.
The biggest problem when time is of essence is the difficulty the helicopter crew has in locating the residence, especially at nighttime. When there is an emergency and you need assistance from the helicopter unit, you can be assured of a quick response time by simply painting your address numbers on your roof.
For most roofs, reflective white numbers are best. If the roof is light, use black. For night viewing, sprinkle a bag of glitter or ground beads on the wet paint. The reflective properties helps the numbers to be visible from the air.
Numbers can be painted, using high quality exterior paint and placed on the front or rear of the roof, as long as they can be clearly viewed from the air. Numbers can be placed on the back side of the roof if the roof pitches toward the street. Include the full street number on the roof. Spaces should be 4-6 inches wide between numbers. NOTE: The street name is not necessary.