Reading this article may save your life or someone you love.  

That’s not an exaggeration, but a fact as you’re about to read the importance of having your house number properly displayed at your residence.

Many homes throughout Clay County do not have their house numbers displayed, especially those residents that have a post office box, according to Clay County 911 coordinator Ryan Smith.

House numbers are not only convenient for finding addresses but necessary for emergency responders to locate those in need, Smith said.

“When responding to an emergency, minutes matter so be sure the fire, police and EMS can easily and quickly locate your address,” he said.

When the 911 system was implemented in Clay County over 20 years ago, each residence was assigned a house number/address.  If the address is properly displayed on your mailbox, it helps responders locate your residence much faster.

But, according to Smith, as time has dwindled since the implementation of 911, some mailbox lettering has faded and not been replaced making it harder to find residences.

Searching for the location where the address is not appropriately marked can increase the response time and possibly affect the outcome of the emergency situation.  It is recommended that Clay County residents take a few moments to install house numbers or examine existing house numbers.  Be sure that the numbers are easily read from the street.

“When our dispatchers are giving directions, the house number is the most vital piece of information we can give our responders,” he said.  “We also try to use physical descriptions when the house number isn’t displayed, but that slows response time down.  Like I said before, seconds and minutes matter during a crisis.”

Clay County has over 7,000 residences and many of the emergency medical service employees are not residents of the county, which makes it even more vital for properly displayed house numbers.

“We (911) cannot emphasis enough how important having your house number properly displayed is,” Smith said.  “Minutes and seconds matter when responding to an emergency and finding your location quickly is vital.”

--Every house has an assigned identifying number that displays your home or business address. If you do not have an assigned house number; Clay County 911 can assist you with getting one. They can be reached at 606-598-8411 to assist in answering any questions you may have.

--Script numbers or numbers that are spelled out in words may be aesthetically pleasing but are difficult to read quickly from the street

--Brass and bronze numbers are difficult to see. Use numbers that contrast with the background

--Be sure that the view of the numbers is not obstructed by shrubs, trees or decorations

--Numbers should be clearly seen when approaching from either side of the house

--If your house is set back from the street and the house number cannot be seen then house numbers should be posted at the end of the driveway at the street

--If there are multiple houses that use the same driveway to access their home, each address should be posted at the entrance of the driveway and then again at each individual home

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