Can Emergency Responders Find Your Address?

Posted on: September 8, 2016

The City of Laurel is again asking homeowners and tenants to take a look at their home and ask themselves, “Can my home be found in an emergency?”

According to Laurel City Ordinance, all dwelling houses and commercial establishments must be numbered with numbers of sufficient size and of such color and so located as to be easily read from the street. The address display and/or numbers shall contrast with their background. Numbers need to be a minimum of four (4) inches high and to be readily visible from both directions on the street. During a recent effort by the Laurel Fire Department to check for addresses in Laurel 634 homes and businesses of the 7600 properties are either not present or not visible from the street. That is just under 10% of all properties. A badly displayed number can cost you precious time in an emergency. You need to make sure your home or business is properly numbered and be visible at night.

Below are some simple guidelines for the best location for your house number.

At your home, the number should be posted so that it is visible from both directions of travel. Trees, bushes or other items should not block visibility from the road.

Numbers should be placed near the front door within a radius of the porch light and above eye level. Because first responders generally look to the front door area of the home first, avoid placing numbers in other areas from such as above garage doors.

An additional measure such as using a reflective sign and mounting it to a stake in your lawn near the curb, to your mailbox post, or directly to your house will ensure ambulance or law enforcement personnel will be able to identify your home quickly.

Do not use your mailbox as the only means of identification for your home. If your mailbox is not in front of your home or near your driveway, emergency responders may be unable to locate you. Remember to mark your mailbox on both sides. Numbers on the mailbox door may be great for your mail carrier, but are difficult to see by hurried emergency personnel trying to locate you or a loved one.

So, go ahead and make sure your home is properly numbered; it might just save a life and it’s the law!