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Emergency Calls: Where ARE You?

In times of emergency, neither you nor the response team needs to be asking this question. If your house number is not visible from the street, it can be even worse at night. A poorly displayed number can cost you precious time in an emergency.

The best location? House numbers should be posted so it is visible from both directions of travel. Posts, bushes, trees or flowers should not block the visibility from the road. House numbers should be placed near the front door with the radius of the porch light, eye level, and large enough to be seen from the road. Avoid posting above other entrances, like side doors and garage doors.

Mailbox postings are a secondary use. You may live in an area where several mailboxes are next to each other. An emergency vehicle needs to know they have arrived at the location, then quickly be able to find your home by its number as well.

On your mailbox, be sure the numbers are reflective and large enough to read. If your mailbox isnt directly in front of your house or near your driveway, emergency responders cannot locate you if you dont have your house number on your house or on a post or sign in your yard. Mark your mailbox on both sides. Your mail carrier may know you, but other drivers may not.

Address signs if you use these, place them about two feet from the driveway in the direction of the house.

The best color? For house signs, pick a color that has a light and dark contrast with the background. A black number is perfect on a white house and even better when lit.

Mailbox numbers need a light and dark contrast with the mailbox color. If you go with stickers, the ones with black numbers on white background are excellent. Another option is to mount a sign above or below the mailbox. Dont get a color similar to the mailboxs color.

Size? Bigger is better. The number should be at least four inches tall if displayed on your house or sign, and if you have the option, get ones with boldface type. Thick and wide is better.