BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If you're making a list of spring projects, AMR has a suggestion for one that could save your life.
"Spring fix-up is a great time to make sure your mailbox address and building numbers are easy to see from the road by day and night," said James Carver, EMS Chief of AMR MS Gulf Coast. "Mailbox markings and building numbers are lifesaving landmarks for ambulance crews, fire departments and police responding to your emergency."
AMR officials say no one should rely solely on a house or building number painted on the curb or planted in the lawn on a low sign. They suggest you post the numbers over the doorway or elsewhere up on the building.
"Emergency crews are expected to know the area they serve very well, but they may never have been to your particular turn-off or cul-de-sac. To identify their destination, emergency responders use GPS technology, detailed maps and the directions a caller gives to their dispatcher, but a clearly marked mailbox or building number is always invaluable," Carver said.
Here are some tips to help public safety responders find your house or other building:
- Replace or repaint faded mailbox addresses and building numbers.
- Put your family’s last name and street address on your mailbox.
- Use numbers and letters with a color that contrasts with the background they’re placed against.
- Numbers and letters should be at least four inches tall.
- Use numbers and letters that reflect emergency vehicles’ headlights and spotlights.
- Mark mailboxes on both sides because rescuers might not come from the same direction as your mail carrier.
- Cut tall weeds and grass blocking the view of your mailbox.
- Place building numbers where they won’t be blocked by trees, shrubs, hanging baskets, chimes or other objects.
- If your home or other building is on a corner, post numbers facing both streets.
"If the building number is hard to spot or the mailbox is poorly marked, your rescuers will be delayed in reaching you. In a life-threatening emergency, every second is precious to the patient's survival. Bottom line: Your rescuers can't help you until they find you," he said.