Finding an address has never been easier with satellite navigation technology. However, even if “you have arrived at your destination”, it can still be a guessing game if the property has no visible house number.
Charnel Hattingh, Head of Marketing and Communications for Fidelity ADT, reiterates the importance of a visible house number, especially in an emergency.
Searching for the location of a property because there is no visible house number increases the response time and can affect the outcome of the situation.
“When you call for emergency assistance, in the event of a fire, medical emergency or criminal incident, one of the dispatcher’s priorities is to ascertain where the emergency is taking place. Your address is naturally very important as this is relayed to the relevant emergency service, such as the fire department, police or ambulance,” she says.
“It is crucial the responders are able to find your property easily and quickly and they can only do this if you have a visible house number displayed. It is not ideal to have someone wait outside to flag the emergency vehicle down because you don’t have a visible house number or because finding your property is confusing.”
10 tips from FADT on how to ensure your house number is always visible:
- If you have a house number, stand on the street and look at your property to ensure it is truly visible to passers-by, in the day and at night.
- If your home is set back from the street and cannot be seen from the road, your house number must be visible at the entrance to your driveway or on the curb.
- If multiple homes use the same driveway, all addresses must be visible at the entrance of the driveway and again at each individual home.
- Use numbering that is large and easy to read.
- Display your house number in a prominent position on the perimeter of the property – depending on the size of the property, you may need to have more than one house number on the perimeter.
- On your post box, above your garage door or on the curb are also good places to display your home number.
- The colour of the number should not blend into the colour of the wall.
- Trim back foliage which could be obscuring your house number.
- Check for wear and tear and replace signage which is faded or damaged.
- Remember, your security company can offer advice on where best to display your house number and CPF structures and the like often take the initiative in suburbs to paint house numbers on curbs for a small donation.
“Corner stands can be particularly tricky, so if you have more than one entrance ensure both are marked and if one gate is in another street, display your actual full address here,” Hattingh says.
She also advises homeowners make the visibility of their house number part and parcel of home maintenance.
Hattingh concludes that the public should bear in mind that emergency services personnel are dedicated to saving lives and protecting property.
“The job of a paramedic, fire fighter, armed reaction officer or police officer comes with a high accountability in emergency situations and they often come under scrutiny when things go wrong.
“We believe the public has a duty to do everything possible to assist these services to execute their jobs diligently within the shortest time frame in an emergency. Any hindrance – like a property without a house number – can be an obstacle to these services carrying out their critical services.
“It is a small commitment to ensure emergency services can find your house quickly in an emergency, which can make a massive difference when you need it most.”