Absolutely critical in an emergency


A well-marked home address makes it easier for package and food deliveries. However, such visible home addresses can be absolutely critical in an emergency.

Yankton deputy fire chief Larry Nickles said this fact was highlighted during a recent incident in the Riverside Acres area.

“I went to a burn complaint and when I got to where I was going, I was three houses off and the first half of the block, the signs had either been removed or not marked in the street,” Nickles said. “There, the houses are far enough back that you can’t see the numbers (on the houses) so the streets have been marked and, for whatever reason, the signs had been removed. Had that been an emergency, that would’ve been a big time delay by the time we figured out we were at the wrong place.”

In another case, Nickles said GPS could only help so much.

“Sometimes they’re missing a whole street sign,” he said. “That happened not too long ago in a trailer court and our GPS told us to turn on such-and-such a street, but the sign was gone so you weren’t sure if you were on the right street.”

Nickles said there are a number of guidelines to follow when it comes to the address signage.

“The numbers need to be contrasting,” he said. “In other words, white-on-white isn’t going to work, they just need to be a color on white — for example. The stroke, or the width, of the (numbers) needs to be at least a half-inch and four inches high so they’re visible from the street.”

He added it also helps to keep the area in front of the numbering clear of any shrubbery or other plants to make sure they’re visible from the streets.

Numbering can be found at area hardware stores. Nickles also advises against using lettering to spell out addresses on the front of a house.

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