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Step 1: Perfect 9-1-1 Addressing

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Typically, 50% of your street addresses are not visible to 9-1-1 first responders or anyone else.  Because address signage is not often on both sides of the mailbox, your location address is hidden if arrival is from the opposite direction of travel by the USPS.

Can a 9-1-1 first responder see your address at 11:00 PM from a distance of 100 feet  arriving from the opposite direction of the mail service?

Good Addressing Helps Everyone
When Seconds Count
Don't Keep Them Guessing

Examples for good address signage

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Did your 9-1-1 first responder drive past your location, maybe twice, looking for the correct address? The best thing you can do is have 9-1-1 address signage that works well both day and night. Review the good signage/bad signage guidelines below. Set a good example for your neighborhood!

A first responders priority is to respond to your location SAFELY! Our country legislates signage for roadway signs and vehicle signs (license plates) to assure good visibility day  and night, but not property address signage. Inadequate signage can be a serious distraction to first responders, affecting both response time and safety. The difference between knowing an address and finding an address could affect your well-being.

When seconds count, help by clearly identifying your street address on BOTH sides of your mailbox using a minimum of 3-inch high white reflective numbers on a dark background.

If you live in an area that uses community mailboxes rather than individual mailboxes or you use a PO Box, it is important to display your address on your house using a minimum of 4-inch high numbers that are well lit and have a high contrast to the background, both day & night. As an alternate, place a 3 foot high post with the address sign located near the roadside, visible from both directions.

You Can Help ― When Seconds Count!

  DO    use a minimum of 3-inch high white reflective numbers on a dark background.

  DO    display your address on BOTH SIDES of your mailbox. Help often arrives from the opposite direction of the mail service.

  DO    use a directional arrow on the mailbox if you share a driveway with another house or if the mailboxes are all on the same side of the road.

  DO    display your address ON YOUR HOUSE using a minimum of 4-inch numbers and make sure they are visible from the street and brightly lit. Bigger is Better.

  DO    call your local fire department and ask about its address signage guidelines.

 DO NOT  use BLACK NUMBERS under any circumstance. What color is not visible at night? Black numbers on a white reflective background are common but hard to see at night. The white reflective background has a tendency to balloon from the headlights of an approaching vehicle and hide the black letters. This often happens for the modern high intensity lights used on emergency vehicles.

 DO NOT  use brass numbers. Difficult in the daytime, impossible at night.

 DO NOT  use cursive numbering. 1184 is easier than

 DO NOT  allow shrubbery or holiday decorations to block your address on your mailbox or on your house.

 DO NOT  rely on curbside painted numbers. First responders cannot see them as they approach from down the road. The numbers are easily covered by snow, dirt, debris, and completely hidden by a parked car.

Most countries legislate the proper addressing for motor vehicles—what the license plate should look like: the height and color of the letters, as well as the proper location for signage on the vehicle.

Unfortunately for most areas, the laws and regulations do not specify property address signage nearly as well. Usually, the property owner selects signage for his street address. Good addressing is important for an accurate and rapid response from a first responder traveling to the location of your emergency.

Say something if you spot "Bad Addressing" 
First responders want to arrive from either direction day or night and see white reflective numbers ahead. As they approach, the numbers should be clear and prominent. Use a directional arrow for a shared driveway or clustered mail boxes on the same side of street. Use white reflective numbers at least 3-inches tall on a dark background. Bigger is better.

First Responders try to avoid driving past your location.
Did you ever wonder how fast an ambulance or an fire engine can travel in reverse? The answer is as fast as someone can walk backwards. Because kids are often attracted to lights & sirens and can easily be hidden behind the vehicle, one of the responders often exits the vehicle and walks behind to assure the driver of a clear path,
Wasting Precious Time !

 

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Check first with your local Fire/EMS Department, Police Department, 9-1-1 Center,
Zoning Department, and the Homeowners Association for their specific requirements.
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