Home Address Numbers: Posting Prominently

Posting your home's address numbers is important for neighborhood and civic reasons, and for providing prompt location in case of emergency.

Posted house numbers is one of life's little tasks that we take for granted. When we buy a house, the address number is usually clearly visible. When we build a house, the contractor takes care of installing or painting the correct address. While we seldom need to use that outside number for any special reason, others in the community may have a very real need to see it in a prominent place. Here are a few tips for posting your address:

1. Check with your civic authorities about the correct size, shape, color, and location that are recommended for your house number. Some communities may have no such requirements, since they are located beyond the jurisdiction of the local authorities. But most residential areas fall into the providence of a local governing bureaucracy that may have guidelines for posted house numbers. Find out if such is the case for your home and neighborhood.

2. Follow the code. If there are special designations for posting your home's number on the property for others to see, find out what these are and get what is needed. This may mean you'll need to buy the letters from the local firehouse or civic center. Or you may be able to purchase your own as long as they follow the prescribed conventions, such as a certain number size and perhaps a designated color. Some communities may recommend a neon-type coating that allows the letters to become luminous in the dark.

3. Find out where and how to post the address. You may be asked to have the number installed on the porch near your door, on a post or rail of the porch that is more visible from the street, and on the mailbox to facilitate mail delivery. If there is no such designation, these are the usual places for posting a home number. Some people also place the number on a newspaper delivery box as well as a landscape feature like a boulder or log for easy identification.

4. Keep the number clean and clearly visible to passers-by. Sometimes the letters can fade, chip, or become covered with ice or snow. Make sure yours can be easily read from the street, because in case of fire or a paramedic emergency, you want the squad to be able to find your house promptly, and without question. Keep porch furniture, birdhouses, and other furniture or items away from the number. Walk out to the sidewalk or street to see if you can read the number with no problem.

5. Check on changing ordinances. If your community or neighborhood changes, the laws might, too. Even though these are usually widely published, you don't want to miss a change in urban policy that may affect how your house number should be posted. If the community boundaries shift, sidewalks are added, or other changes occur, check with civic authorities to be sure your house number is in compliance with municipal or regional law.

Even a simple matter like a house number can require time and effort for correct posting. Check to be sure yours is where it should be so that the mail and newspaper delivery persons, along with any emergency workers, can find you when needed.

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