Display your house number

A friend of mine who works as an EMT and has also been a firefighter in the past asked me to bring up this topic. In the event you need to call 911, seconds count. Please make sure your house number is clearly marked in a location easy to see from the street. Time and again, these emergency crews expend crucial ticks of the clock trying to determine which house it is where they are needed.

If possible during an emergency, send someone outside to the end of the driveway to flag down the rescue squad, police, and/or fire crews.

With that said though, let’s say you’re home alone and suffer an injury. You are able to get to the phone and dial 911 but are unable to carry on a conversation with the dispatcher. Standard protocol is to send out a police officer to investigate 911 hang ups or 911 calls where the caller isn’t responding to the dispatcher. The 911 system is set up such that they can automatically trace the call to your address. But, don’t make them have to hunt for your house. Display your house number on your mailbox at the minimum, preferably also on or near your front door. Use reflective numbers and letters so it is easy to read at night.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for SurvivalWeekly.com. He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

4 thoughts on “Display your house number”

  1. Good point. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen fire truck pass by with lights and sirens flashing and then come right back by again a few minutes later.

    You’d think that in this time of GPS’s etc that they’d be able to navigate directly to a location but nothing’s perfect. Why make their job’s harder by making the entry way obscure.


    1. I know my GPS is often a bit off when it comes to an address. Sometimes not by much but other times it’ll be off by almost a full block or so. Out in the sticks it is even worse.

  2. I work as a firefighter/EMT in a rural area. I would say on average 1 out of 15 houses is marked, and the first thing they say is what took you so long. Most rural rescue vehicles do not have computers or GPS. That type of equipment is reserved for the larger departments with bigger budgets. The advice is sound…..mark your house and driveway. It could save your live or the live of a loved one.

  3. Displaying a house number should be a legal obligation on the homeowner. Always go for numbers which contrast with their background so they can be seen clearly from the road whether it’s day or night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *