BY MELANIE BUCK –
House address numbers are an important addition to your home and one that could save your life, or the life of someone you love, in an emergency situation. Mena Fire Department Chief Steve Egger is a firm believer in prevention and would like for the public to be aware of the importance of having your address numbers clearly posted in an effort to prevent the loss of valuable time when trying to locate an emergency situation.
House address numbers are not just for the convenience of finding addresses, but are necessary for emergency responders, including fire fighters, police, and ambulance workers, to locate those in need. When responding to an emergency, minutes, and sometimes seconds, count. Clearly posted numbers on your home or mailbox can help those emergency responders quickly and easily find you.
Many residents discount the importance of their house address numbers. It is mostly because the address numbers were posted by a previous owner of the home and they are left where they were first placed. However, checking with your local building inspectors on new regulations is the best policy. Each city may have their own regulations; it is important to stay current, no matter where you live.
Chief Egger said numbers should be large enough to be seen from the street, the larger the better. Numbers should be placed facing the street and also be in a contrasting color to what they are placed upon. If your home is not visible from the road, use a mailbox or piece of wood for your address numbers.
When placing numbers on your mailbox, be sure to place the numbers on both sides of the box, so that emergency personnel can see your house number from either direction. Also, use large numbers, if possible, to aid in this process.
If you do not have a mailbox at the end of your driveway, you can erect a piece of wood in an area that is free of shrubbery or other obstructions, and clearly place your house numbers on both sides.
Maintenance of the numbers is something else that most citizens don’t think of. Tips include keeping the numbers clean – they may not be reflective or contrasting if they are covered in mud or debris; trim back vegetation as needed; and repair any broken letters as quickly as possible.