EMERGENCY services are urging Port Macquarie-Hastings residents to ensure that their house is clearly marked to ensure it can be located as quickly as possible in the event of an incident.
“In an emergency every second counts, so the simple act of making sure you have a clear house number, that is reflective at night may save valuable time for emergency services,” Mid North Coast Local Area Command crime manager Kim Fehon said.
“This is not only true for the house we are attending, but if everyone has clear house numbers it is quick and easy for emergency services to establish upon entering a street which side of the road and how far along the location of the incident is.”
NSW Ambulance Steve Towle said house numbers on curbs are ideal and these are generally located near the driveway of the property.
He said some people even have a number plate on a 90 degree angle on their letter box which reflects light at night time making it easily identifiable.
Mr Towle said over time number plates can fall off or a small shrub which is planted may grow into a large one and block any identifiable markings.
When numbers are not clearly identifiable Mr Towle said it can slow their service right down and time is critical when responding to an emergency.
He said this can be dangerous when responding to incidents as if paramedics miss a house they are forced to turn around or make a U turn, sometimes into oncoming traffic.
Fire & Rescue NSW Port Macquarie station officer Dawn Maynard said it’s important for the public to ensure the number of their house is clearly visible both day and night.
Ms Maynard said when the emergency service is called to a house fire, smoke is not always visible from the street. Therefore it is critical to have clear, large and neat signage on letterboxes.
Inspector Fehon said visibility of numbers is even more important in remote areas which are not street lit.
“I encourage everyone to take an objective look at their house at night and check they can easily see their house number,” she said.
“If you have called emergency services at night, turn on your front light and keep an eye out for them and If possible have someone meet them out the front.”
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council director Matt Rogers said council encourages residents to have a highly visible house number.
“This assists community agencies and emergency service authorities in locating individual properties,” he said.