I have written about this in the past and feel it is a serious enough issue to bring it up again and offer some viable suggestions to at least begin to alleviate this problem. I recently drove and walked the First, Third & Fourth Wards where I estimated that at least 25% of Shelton houses are not sufficiently marked. House numbers on mail boxes and structures are damaged, unreadable or just not there. I found this problem to be universal in both new and old neighborhoods.
Emergency personnel would have a difficult time at best to easily to quickly locate these homes. Remember minutes and sometimes seconds can mean the difference in the saving of a life or property. The mail box in most of the city, here and elsewhere, are our primary indicator of the number of a home and its approximate location and as I said before most of the mailboxes are not labeled or numbered sufficiently.
For our first responders this can be a very real problem. GPS is good but they are in a hurry for a reason and proper, easy to see and read numbers can make it much easier to locate your home especially at night or during a winter storm. Since the mail box is the primary location for displaying numbers I strongly suggest they be placed on both sides of the box or the post. 3 inch or larger numbers made of a reflective material are the easiest to see. Each side needs to have numbers because our emergency vehicles may be coming the opposite way our postal vehicles do. The numbers are easy to install and can be purchased inexpensively at Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, or True Value Hardware.
For those homes with mail boxes on the opposite side of the street and arrow indicator on the mailbox would work and at the entrance to the driveways of these homes a simple 3 foot 2×4 with the number of the property on it is easy to install and a practical way to identify the home. Some of the back lot homes would be well served with this type of identification also.
Many of the youth groups in the area such as BSA, GSA and high school students who are seeking community service projects could for simply the cost of numbers assist in installing them for those who don’t have numbers on both sides of the mailboxes. Placing larger numbers on or near the front door of the house to ensure proper identification is also helpful. This is again a minimal expense to assist our police force, firefighters and EMS and EMT’s and ambulance crews who are responding quickly as possible to our 911 calls. Let’s make their jobs easier and get them where they need to be sooner rather than later.
Also Happy Father’s Day and a special thanks to all the dads who sacrifice so much for their own children and to those fathers who also volunteer to coach, drive, pickup, mentor, teach and give sage advice to the youth of our community. You skills and talents strengthen our community and make it a better environment for our children to grow up and mature in.