When minutes count

When minutes count, the easier that you make it for emergency responders to find your house the better. Whether it be multiple houses down a long driveway or trees that block your house, there are many things that make finding your house difficult. So, what are the ways that you can make your house numbers more conspicuous?

  • Place numbers on your house or in your yard that can easily be seen from the road
  • Number your mailbox with numbers that are easily seen (use letters that are at least 3” in height). Reflective numbers are better than decorative numbers.
  • If you live down a long driveway, then you must mark your home and place good numbers at the entrance to your driveway
  • When you call for help, be very specific with where you live. Give details such as house color, or anything that may distinguish your home.
  • Go to the end of your driveway and flag down emergency responders, if numbering is an issue.

Do not take it for granted that emergency responders will be able to find your home, simply because you call 9-1-1. The enhanced 9-1-1 system gives the Emergency Communication Center the ability to capture addresses better, and mobile data computers assist responders with mapping and directions, but it is still difficult, at best, to find your house, which might be a needle in a haystack. The more you do to help responders find you ahead of time, the quicker you will be found when you need help.

The problem is that most people do not think of ever needing the help of police, an ambulance or a fire unit until the moment of the emergency. When you make the call, you automatically believe that you will be found, markings or not. Many times, emergency responders have to find your home based upon the numbering of your neighbor’s homes. If your neighbors have been as negligent as you have been in numbering your home, then the problem mounts.

Preplanning on your part may pay great dividends to you and your family in the future. We all have a responsibility in this. Firefighters, medics and police officers have a responsibility to learn as much about the areas that they work in as possible. The problem is, it is like going to a new place that you have never been before. When I worked as a firefighter, I had a general knowledge of the entire county, but I knew Chester, backwards and forward. When I found myself in the north end of the county, it was like a whole new world. Bottom line, do your part.


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