GREENSBORO, NC -- Your home is the place you're supposed to feel safe. And if an emergency happened at your home, you would want EMS, fire or police to be able to locate you.
2WTK took a drive through a local neighborhood and found we couldn't see the house numbers. That didn't mean they weren't there. Some were so small, others placed where you couldn't read them and then many others simply hidden by trees or shrubbery.
If crews can't see them from the road, it could mean a lag in time getting to you. Chris Wilson, a paramedic with Guilford County Emergency Services knows this problem all too well.
"As an EMS worker for over 12 years I have seen first-hand the challenges that face EMS, Fire and Police when it comes to finding a location. Whether it be an unmarked residence, a locked gate or a large complex not numbered well, it creates challenges in getting to emergencies."
Most cities and counties have ordinances that require folks to make their address visible. You're probably not going to get a citation for not having your house number visible but it makes it difficult for emergency crews, which should be a primary concern.
"When you want me there because your family member is having a medical emergency or you want police there because you heard someone break your basement window or perhaps this fire department when there is a fire, you don't want the crews wasting time getting to you and without a visible house number it could use up valuable time."
Chris brought an example to show viewers of the best case scenario. "This is one example of a number sign that can be used. Certainly there are more, but this one is very noticeable and stands out especially during night time hours when the dark environment decreases normal visibility even more. In limited visibility conditions, the difficulty level increases in locating these house numbers."
House numbers should be at least 3 inches tall. Chris suggests a reflective background.
The City of Burlington has a way for you to buy the reflective signs although they don't provide the service.
Not every city or county has the same ordinance, but Guilford County's guidelines are a good starting point if you don't have your ordinance handy.