House number exampleIt’s a little thing that can make a big difference during an emergency: Can the fire department clearly see your house or building number from the street?

While our firefighters and paramedics are very familiar with the streets and neighborhoods in their territory, finding the exact location of a residence depends on a plainly visible address.
What’s the best way to ensure we can easily find your residence?
       - Have large numbers posted on the exterior. The numbers should be at least 4 inches tall.
       - Use reflective materials such as metal or reflective/high-visibility stickers.
       - Make sure the numbers contrast with the color of your house or building. Put dark-colored numbers on light-colored siding or vice versa.
       - If you have a mailbox near the curb in front of your house, put your house number on it following the tips above.

Look at the house below (not located in Madison). Why might it be difficult for firefighters to identify the house number, especially at night?

Example of house with poor address markings

Meanwhile, check out this building in Madison:

Example of good address markings on building

The numbers on this multi-unit complex are large and clearly visible from across the street. Because they’re also metal, our emergency lights will reflect off of them at night, helping us see them in the dark.

It’s extremely important for us to be able to identify your home in the event that you or a household member can’t come outside to wave us down. Clearly visible house numbers are especially important when we respond to emergency medical calls, where smoke and flames typically aren't a clue we can look out for.

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Photo credit
Top left: Foto0123 CC: BY 2.0
Center: Chris Scott CC: BY-SA 2.0


This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Fire and a link back to the original post.

Category: Your Safety