Re­flec­tive num­bers on houses can save lives

The Standard Journal - - POLICE & FIRE - By Sgt. Dane Hunter Aragon Po­lice Depart­ment

This week I want to talk about a sit­u­a­tion that Pub­lic Safety deals with daily, some­times sev­eral times a day.

When you have an emer­gency, time is crit­i­cal.

Whether you need Law En­force­ment, an Am­bu­lance, the Fire Depart­ment, or even An­i­mal Con­trol our abil­ity to re­spond quickly de­pends on us find­ing your res­i­dence in a timely man­ner.

I rec­om­mend you put a min­i­mum 4” re­flec­tive num­bers on both sides of your mail­box. You may ask why both sides? That way no mat­ter which way Pub­lic Safety is trav­el­ing on the road in front of you home, its clearly marked. I also rec­om­mend num­bers next to your front door, in ad­di­tion to those on the mail­box, that way it re­moves any doubt as to the ex­act lo­ca­tion of your home. If you don’t have a mail­box or live on a road­way where your mail­box is across the street, I would rec­om­mend you place a 4”x4” post next to your drive­way with the same type and size num­bers as above on both sides of the post. Make sure the post is a safe dis­tance off the road­way as well as clear of the drive­way, yet vis­i­ble from the road­way. If you have the big brick en­clo­sure type mail­box, make sure the num­bers are on the face of your mail­box. If you live on a “drive­way” where mul­ti­ple homes are lo­cated off that “drive­way”. Make sure your mail­box or 4”x 4” post at the drive­way is clearly marked, and another post with num­bers next to “your” drive­way.

If you live in a Du­plex or Apart­ment, make sure the num­bers and/or let­ters are clearly marked on the door or be­side the door. Some of you may live in a mo­bile home park where only the end of your home is vis­i­ble from the street. Post the num­bers on the front door side of the home high enough that the ve­hi­cles parked out front don’t block them.

If you have “va­cant” land or prop­erty make sure it’s clearly marked with a 4” x 4” Post with num­bers as de­scribed above. Pub­lic Safety gets tres­pass­ing call all the time and with­out mark­ings it’s dif­fi­cult to lo­cate these prop­er­ties.

On the other side of this sit­u­a­tion, we lo­cate un­se­cured prop­er­ties, find peo­ple hunt­ing il­le­gally, and other crim­i­nal of­fenses where prop­er­ties are not clearly marked. It’s time con­sum­ing to track down the owner of the prop­erty and ties up valu­able re­sources try­ing to track you down.

We have seen may in­ci­dents where some­one from in­side the home had come out and flag down Pub­lic Safety, or flash the front porch light so we could lo­cate a home. You may not al­ways be able to go out­side and “flag down” the re­spond­ing units or you may not have the abil­ity to flash the front porch light.

Again, our abil­ity to find you is your re­spon­si­bil­ity. If you in­vite friends or fam­ily over for the first time and they are hav­ing trou­ble find­ing you, then odds are so will we. If friends say they rec­og­nized your ve­hi­cle in the drive­way to find your house, you need to think we don’t know what you drive. If a de­liv­ery driver had a dif­fi­cult time lo­cat­ing your home, then you should rec­og­nize this as in­di­ca­tors that a prob­lem ex­ists.

We all have el­derly fam­ily, friends, fel­low church mem­bers, neigh­bors, and co­work­ers that may need us sooner rather than later. Drive to their home and look to make sure it is marked clearly. If it’s not, of­fer to help them. To­gether we can all make our com­mu­nity safer.

Re­mem­ber your life, the life of a fam­ily mem­ber, or friend vis­it­ing you may be depend­ing on us find­ing your home.

Sgt. Dane Hunter of the Aragon Po­lice Depart­ment has part­nered with the Polk County Stan­dard Jour­nal to help pro­vide in­for­ma­tion use­ful to lo­cal res­i­dents in keep­ing them safe and se­cure on the road and in their homes. Have ques­tions? Con­tact the ed­i­tor Kevin Myrick at kmyrick@ npco.com.

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