When you need help, especially emergency help, can we find you? An often overlooked city ordinance that is of great value for our citizens is $98.011 the “Numbering of Buildings.”
House numbers are not only convenient for finding addresses but necessary for emergency responders to locate those in need. When responding to an emergency, minutes matter, so be sure that fire, ambulance, and police personnel can easily and quickly find your address.
Here are a few suggestions that can be considered.
• City ordinance states that the numbers should be at least 3” x 2”. This, in many cases is not large enough. Be sure your house number is easily seen from the street.
• Use reflective numbers or install a light above the numbers so the address can be noticeable at night. Brass numbers often blend in; a contrasting background to the numbers displayed is best.
• It is not recommended to post the numbers on the front door or on the garage, as the numbers may not be visible when the door is open.
• Although numbers displayed as words may look unique, they may be difficult to read and it is more appropriate to display the numbers in numerical format. Example: Use 614 instead of Six Fourteen
• Try standing at the road in front of your house. Check if you can easily see your house numbers. If not, make the necessary changes to properly display your address.
• Be sure that 1/2 numbers are displayed on appropriate address as well as apartment identification. A, B, C, 1, 2 and 3 etc.
• If a single house or building has multiple addresses, be sure to have separate numeric identification for each. Be sure they are mounted at the doorway and not at a consolidated mailbox location.
• Do not forget to number the back side or alley side of your building. Emergency personnel often are dispatched to suspicious subjects or injuries that occur in the backyard of homes.
• If your home address is on one street but the entrance is on a cross street, be sure that a set of numbers is showing on the legal address side of the building.
• Consider what emergency personnel will see. Can they see and read it at night from a moving vehicle?
• If your home is a notable distance from the roadway, consider placing your numbers on a post at your driveway entrance or be sure your mailbox has readable numerics attached.
• Residents that share a common right of way driveway should consider numbers that are also posted at the divides of the drive.
Some of our local decal and sign shops offer printing services for custom lettering. This may be considered if one wants to increase the size of the numerics or even add a street name under it. They may even offer large reflective decals. Several of our local hardware stores offer individual numeric decals.
If the numbers on your house are not visible or easy to read, it will take emergency personnel longer to reach you. Those extra minutes spent trying to locate a property can mean the difference between life and death, so take the time now to be sure your house numbers are able to be seen from the street to help emergency responders find you faster.
Can lifesaving personnel find you?
Help us help you.
Sgt. Jeff Line is a supervisor with the Crawfordsville Police Department and has been serving our community since 1979.