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First responders ask residents to have visible address numbers on homes

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS — Every second counts in an emergency and the Idaho Falls Fire and Police Departments are reminding residents that visible address numbers are crucial in locating those in distress quickly.

“While the dispatch system provides fairly accurate location information during an emergency, first responders rely on address numbers to get them to the exact location,” said Kerry Hammon, a spokeswoman for the Idaho Falls Fire Department in a news release.

Hammon says if it is difficult for you to see addresses from the street, it is also difficult for first responders.

Officials say to ask a few questions to determine if your property numbers are helpful to first responders:

    Are your address numbers visible from the street?
    Is the number blocked by objects?
    Are the numbers set on a background of contrasting colors?
    If your property is hidden from the street, are your numbers attached to a visible fence, mailbox, or gate?
    Is your mobile home identified with your house number?
    If your property is on a corner, does the number face the street named in your address?

According to Idaho Falls city code, new and existing buildings need to have approved address numbers, building numbers or other approved building identifiers in a place legible and visible to the street in front of the property. The code also says numbers need to be Arabic numbers or alphabetical letters that are at least four inches tall with a minimum width of half an inch.

“Although city code does not require addresses to be painted on curbs, we recommend property owners take this additional step to make addresses more visible for responders,” Hammon said.

Officials say numbers can be placed on a post or fence if the door is not easily seen from the street.

The city also recommends replacing old and damaged address numbers, including those on mailboxes distant from the front of the property.

“Keeping your home well lit is also important, not only for ease in finding you but also for personal safety reasons,” said Jessica Clements, a spokeswoman for the IFPD. “We suggest having lights on your front door as well as above your garage so that you can clearly see the area surrounding the entry points to your home.”