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The Importance of House Numbers

How often do you think about the visibility of your house numbers? After all, you know where you live! However, house numbers aren’t just for the convenience of the mailman and guests visiting you; they are essential for emergency responders who depend on those numbers to locate your house in an emergency. There isn’t always someone available to wave down firefighters or a police officer to direct them to the trouble. Searching for house numbers not clearly visible can increase the response time and possibly affect the situation’s outcome.

Here’s an exercise for you – can your house numbers be read quickly, from the street, during the day, and at night? If not, it’s time to make changes to display your address more clearly.

Consider the following:
Emergency responders look for at the front of the house for the identifying numbers.  If your numbers are on a sign or post placed close to the ground, amidst landscaping, or even on a mailbox, they will be more challenging to see. If vehicles park in front of your house regularly, they might be parking in front of your house numbers.

The Do’s of House #s
– Numbers should be at least four (4”) tall, not in cursive
– Script numbers or numbers spelled out in words may be aesthetically pleasing but are difficult to read quickly from the street
– Brass and bronze numbers develop a patina over time, making them difficult to see. Use numbers in colors that contrast highly with the color of your house
– Display the numbers in numerical format. Example: Use 1 2 3 instead of one two three
– Numbers should be visible when approaching from either side of the house
– Install a light above the numbers or use reflective or backlit numbers, so the address is visible at night
– If multiple homes use the same driveway to access their property, each address should be posted at the entrance of the driveway and then again at each home
– If your home is set back from the street and isn’t visible from the road, post the house numbers at your driveway entrance

The Don’ts of House #s
– Post the numbers on the front door or the garage because the numbers aren’t visible if those doors are open
– Allow shrubs, trees, and plants to block the house numbers
– Obstruct the house numbers with holiday decorations

And if all your numbers need is a fresh coat of paint, that’s easy. Whatever the case, your house will get an instant facelift, increasing its curb appeal, and emergency responders will be able to find your home quickly.