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Posted on: June 1, 2022

Is Your Number Up?

House Numbers

Firefighters, ambulances, and police personnel waste no time answering an alarm. Everything they do is calculated and rehearsed to save every possible second. The trouble is they can’t always find your house in a hurry. Why? Because the house numbers can’t be seen or can’t be read instantly from the street. Failing to provide a clear marking of your address may be inviting disaster in the event of an emergency where precious seconds may mean the difference. 

Some reasons your house numbers cannot be read quickly: 

  • They are too small
  • They are painted over
  • Some digits are missing
  • Covered or partially covered by plants or bushes
  • Written out in fancy script
  • Attached to the garage door (therefore, only visible if the door is closed)
  • Not adequately lit at night
  • There are no numbers at all

 Suggested methods of addressing your house: 

  • Put numbers that are at least four inches tall at the front entrance (or a location easily visible from the street) that contrasts with the background - for example, light numbers on dark or dark numbers on light. 
  • For apartment buildings and other buildings with multiple occupancies, mark each separate occupant’s number.
  • For driveways off main roads, place your address numbers on a post at the entrance of the driveway.
  • For a single driveway leading to multiple driveways for single residences, put the address numbers of all residences on a post at the entrance of the main driveway.
  • At intersections of individual driveways, put addresses with arrows pointing towards the individual residences. 

Firefighters, ambulances, and police personnel are ready to help you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - but you must take a little time yourself to display your house number clearly, so they can find where you are.

This message is brought to you by the City of Carbondale Fire Department along with the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance. If you would like more information, please contact the Administrative Fire Office at (618) 457-3234.

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