They can’t help you, if they can’t find you.
Harlem Roscoe Fire Protection District shares tips to make sure house numbers are visible to first responders. District Chief John Bergeron says it’s especially a problem in rural areas.
“You know, there’s not a lot of marking out there and sometimes they’ll have a mailbox with no numbers,” said Bergeron. “Some of them out there share one driveway and then when you get out there, they split off. It’s imperative to have both addresses at that road.”
Harlem-Roscoe Fire says mother nature also gets in the way.
“On the house numbers that are in the brick, some bushes to grow into that,” said Bergeron. “The snow will stick to them in the inside and it blocks the numbers. Any shrubbery that blocks it.”
Help Harlem-Fire Protection District find you quickly by following these important tips:
-Your house number(s) should be clearly visible from the street, as well at night
-Make sure bushes, vehicles, or other things don’t block house number(s).
-Your house number(s) should be in a contrasting color to your house, at least three inches high.
-If you have a rural home, mark your address clearly on the mailbox or a post at the front of your driveway.
-Make sure your address is posted by every telephone in your home. In stressful situations, it can be very easy to forget your address.
-Make sure all family members know how to call 911.
“Time of the essence when there’s an emergency,” said Bergeron. “Whether it’s a medical emergency or fire, the quicker we can get there, the sooner we can begin treatment of whatever we need to.”
Keeping numbers visible doesn’t just help first responders, but disaster services like the American Red Cross. The organization says keeping the addresses clear also keeps volunteers safe.
“[It’s] because we respond 24/7 day and night to house fires, to help individuals alleviate,” said American Red Cross of Northwest Illinois Executive Director Leslie Luther. “For us, it’s a matter of getting to the individuals and families who are in need.”
Bergeron adds it’s important all family members, even guests, know the address by heart.
“Especially if you have babysitters that come in, make sure the address is written down inside for them. If you’re in a panic mode, the last thing you will know is the address of where you’re at.”
Harlem Roscoe Fire also suggests using a solar light by the house numbers to make sure they can be seen at night.