Editorial: 1200, 1202, 1204, um, uh, what is that?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2008

There&8217;s a fire. It&8217;s your house. And you aren&8217;t home.

Your neighbor has called 911 and the fire department is on its way.

The truck barrels down your street and right past your house. Valuable seconds are lost.

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Couldn&8217;t the firefighters see the smoke? Not always. At night or with a basement furnace problem, it can be hard.

What the firefighters really needed were easy-to-identify numbers on your house. Do you have them? Are they hard to see day or night?

What if it&8217;s not a fire? What if you have a medical emergency? Can the ambulance driver pick out the address on the side of your home?

How about if a burglar enters your house and you call the police? Can the patrol officer match the number to your house?

Too many people neglect the importance of visible address numbers until an emergency strikes.

Some houses &8212; and many businesses &8212; don&8217;t have them. Some have missing numbers. Some have them, but the colors blend in with the house. Contrast, such as black numbers on white paint or dark wood on light wood, works best. The bigger the numbers the better.

As much as Albert Lea City Hall makes an issue over snow removal and lawn mowing, it seems the issue of address numbers has little priority. There should be greater awareness and enforcement made of the importance of the address numbers.