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NAFD stresses safety guidelines for 911 address identification

NAFD 911 address No amount of training will help if too much time is lost finding your address in an emergency.

In the upcoming months, you will be seeing some information that I feel needs to be brought to the attention of the citizens of our City and County for the safety of those we protect.  I feel the best way to do this is by educating the public on why we do what we do, why we request what we request, and how we run the fire department on a daily basis.

The first part of my series is 911 address identification.

The location of the emergency at hand, whether it be police, fire, or EMS, is by far one of the most important pieces of information we can obtain.  When we are responding to an emergency, it is very frustrating, and costs what is often valuable, lifesaving seconds and moments.  You would think in today’s times, and as long as 911 has been in place, home addresses on the property would not be an issue, but it is very much so.

We find ourselves having to locate addresses across the street, up the road, shining lights on buildings in the dead of the night, calling back on the phone, asking for further information, and sometimes just taking a guess as to whether “this is the right location or not.”  R

Really not a big problem if you have fire coming out every window of your home, but if it is a medical emergency, smell of smoke, or police emergency, it sets us back because we can’t find you. I personally have responded to calls in the County where we could not find the location due to an absence of a visible address.

Both the City and County have an ordinance in place for 911 addressing.

  • New Albany City Ordinance 911 Address: The numbers shall be conspicuously placed immediately above or on the side of the proper door on each building so that the number can be seen from the roadway line. The numbers should be placed at such a location that they will not be hidden at any time by obstructions, screens, storm doors, or shrubbery. (Chapter 18: Article III)
  • Union County Ordinance: Internal Residence Code (IRC) Section R319 Site Address, R319.1, Address Numbers: Buildings shall have approved address numbers, building numbers or approved building identification placed in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. These numbers shall contrast with the background. Address numbers shall be Arabic numbers or alphabetical letters. Numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches (102 mm) high with a minimum stroke width of ½ inch (12.7 mm). Where access is by means of a private road and the building address cannot be viewed from the public way, a monument, pole, or other sign or means shall be used to identify the structure.

We just ask that you make sure that the address of your home is visible both day and night from the roadway.  DON’T wait until it is too late, and WE can’t locate your home, and valuable time is lost.

Mark K. Whiteside
Deputy Fire Chief, New Albany Fire/Rescue
1st Vice President MS Firefighter’s Association

1 Comment on NAFD stresses safety guidelines for 911 address identification

  1. Great article and I know some homes have the house numbers on the mail box only, and most of the time visible from only one side. Please encourage residents who have their numbers visible only from the mailbox to make sure they are visible from BOTH sides, as emergency vehicles may be coming from one or both directions.

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