Can emergency crews see your house number? (submitted)

Column: Visible house numbers should be mandatory

The most important purpose for house numbers is for emergency crews.

I confess, I’m one of those people.

I was speaking recently with longtime Citizen columnist T.W. Paterson and he had a bit of a rant to share.

A totally legitimate rant.

Many, many homes in the Cowichan Valley do not have visible house numbers displayed.

He is absolutely right. I’m one of the offenders. It’s something I have to make a priority to fix right away.

And if you’re like me, you should do the same.

When I moved into my home the house number was prominently displayed on the front outside wall. The numbers are still there, but I’ve since planted a garden that means they can no longer be easily viewed from the road. And that’s in daylight. At night? Forget it. It’s something I’ve realized for a while was a problem, but somehow I’ve kept putting off getting some more numbers to properly display at the end of the driveway.

Shame on me. House numbers are vital. And not just for friends you’ve invited over who are driving up and down your street trying to find your house, peering through the dark and making your neighbours think there might be burglars in the area.

No, the most important purpose for house numbers is for emergency crews. If you ever need to call 911 for anything, one of the first questions they will ask is where you are. You can tell them, but if your number isn’t displayed prominently, it can cause delays in them being able to find you that can have serious consequences.

T.W. suggested a couple of things that are worth thinking about. First, properly displayed house numbers should be made mandatory by the municipality, and enforced. It’s a public safety issue, after all. The fire department or the ambulance shouldn’t have to drive in circles. We make other things mandatory, from a dog licence to side yard setbacks. Why not house numbers?

Second, he suggested they might consider making the placement of the numbers mandatory as well, so they are all uniform. That’s not a bad suggestion either.

Right now they range from not visible, to on the house, to on the mailbox, to in the hedge, to at the foot of the driveway. Some new subdivisions have them painted on the curb.

I think eye level at the end of the driveway, or in the rare case that you don’t have a driveway, at the street by the front walk is a good idea.

I’ve heard no good argument against either of these suggestions. It would make us all safer. Now, off to the store…

Just Posted

Huge demand for spot prawns, limited supply for Cowichan

Most of the more than 200 boats harvesting spot prawns freeze their catch and ship it away.

Andrea Rondeau column: Positives on the environmental front

Does hearten me so many people concerned about future of environment they’re taking it to the polls.

Bantam B Thunder win a wild one

Cowichan comes home with gold from inaugural Comox tournament

Sarah Simpson Column: Airing out my dirty laundry

Last week I visited Mill Bay resident Judy van der Boom to… Continue reading

Snyder comes up big as Tigers mercy Red Sox

Pitcher clobbers a dinger to lock up mercy win

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

B.C. ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read