It is a common problem across British Columbia and North America; emergency responders such as fire, police and EMS experience response delays to improper or poorly marked house numbers. Not all calls that the Lake Cowichan Fire Department respond to are fires so which address we are responding to may not be as obvious as the smoke or flames coming out of the windows. In the event of someone whose heart has stopped or a baby not breathing, seconds are significant, and a speedy response is a matter of life and death.
Go out in front of your residence in the evening and look at your address. Can it be easily seen? Does it reflect any light? How large are the numbers? Imagine yourself at 3a.m. during a rainy winter’s night in Lake Cowichan trying to find your address. Will it be easily seen? These are all questions we need to ask. For the most part, homes in Lake Cowichan are marked with house numbers but many are either too small, non reflective or do not contrast against the background. With the following tips you can help us find you or your family member in case of emergency:
1.Make sure your address is clearly readable from 100’ away in either direction; address signs at the edge of your driveway are great for this.
2.Ensure that your address sign has reflective numbers.
3.If you do not have reflective address signage, make sure that it has contrasting colours to ensure the numbers stand out.
4.Ensure your sign is not obstructed by branches or bushes — check that it can be seen during all seasons.
5.When you call 911 try to meet emergency responders on the street or flash your porch light to get the attention of responding crews.
For more information on address signs please check our webpage, www.lakecowichanfire.com, Twitter, @lakecowfire or Facebook, www.facebook.com/lakecowfire. Remember to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on March 11 when we “spring ahead”.