Hunt the House: are your house numbers emergency friendly? This project, funded by the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner’s Safer Dorset Fund was run as a pilot on Canford Heath in Poole from April to July 2016. Residents were asked to imagine they had to dial 999 as someone is ill in their house and to see just how quickly paramedics would find their home in the dark when it could be a matter of life or death? Through some timed exercises, publicity and a competition we raised awareness of how important having visible house numbers is. Read the report here: Hunt the House Report
If this project has made you think about your own house numbers, here are some top tips from a retired paramedic:
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
- “Is my property readily identifiable?”
- “Could a member of the emergency services find my property quickly in the dark?”
- “Is my house number easy to read on my outside wall or property?”
THE GOOD NEWS HOUSE FOR THE EMERGENCY SERVICES
The “Gold Standard House” is one where the numbers are BOLD and CLEAR. If you have an outside wall or boundary fence, then please put the name or number of your house here. “I can assure you that at 2 in the morning, such a simple measure really does assist the 999 services. As a rule, large dark numbers on a light coloured background show up best.”
You can also buy reflective house numbers which work well in the dark.
BAD NEWS HOUSE FOR THE EMERGENCY SERVICES
This is a house where there is an outside wall, but no number and a long driveway with the house number hardly definable in the distance. “So much time is wasted trying to locate a number in these circumstances.”
- If you have the number or name of your property on a gate, the gate may be open and therefore the number won’t be visible.
HEDGES AND OTHER VEGETATION
- Please cut back any overgrown bushes or hedges as these often obscure your number.
- It helps the emergency services if all your wheelie bins (this includes, black, blue and green bins) have numbers on the front and back of the bin. Locating a house is made so much easier when residents make the effort to do this when the emergency services attend properties on bin collection days.