Hard-to-find home address numbers could cost you your life - AmericaNowNews.com

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Hard-to-find home address numbers could cost you your life

Having your house number clearly displayed on the exterior of your home or mailbox is critical during an emergency.

If you drive down most streets and roads across America, you'll likely discover that some house numbers are barely visible, while others are faded or peeling.

This makes it extremely difficult for police, fire or paramedics to locate someone's home during an emergency. 

It's very frustrating when a first responder can't find the house for someone needing help. They know lives are on the line, but the lack of an address they can see might as well be a brick wall between them and the patient.

"Typically, they've been abstract about it," says Lt. Doug Davies with the Decatur Fire Department in North Carolina. "They don't really realize how few minutes there are."

Lots of people have even called the Decatur Fire Department asking for help in displaying their address. 

"They said, 'Could you please come out and paint our curbs?'" Davies says. 

Reminding people about updating their address number is a message worth repeating. Time is an enemy in an emergency.

"It takes too long, or you'll commit to a driveway that's really long -- the better part of a mile or a half mile -- and you hope it's the address," Davis says.

When someone's life is on the line, first responders are in a race.

"Ninety seconds really is the difference between life and death when it comes to cardiac events," Davis points out.

So, make sure you add numbers to both sides of your mailbox, or at least on the side where traffic passes.

Use reflective stickers with black numbers on white, or paint the numbers in a contrasting color from your mailbox.

The best place to have your number is in a well-lit area and in an obvious place where people look, like on the side of your mailbox and above the front door.

Your numbers should be at least three inches high.

It's best not to be too creative by putting your address number in a flower bed where it could be easily overlooked. You also need to be careful about using fonts that are harder to read from the street. 

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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