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911 Address Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a 911 address sign?

A.

911 Address Sign is a two-sided reflective panel displaying the 911 address and may include your street name. A 911 address is the physical address of your structure. When you dial 911 from a landline phone in an emergency, this is the location information available to a dispatcher. 911 address signs are highly visible day or night and make your house clearly and easily identifiable from the street so that Police, Fire, and EMS responders can save provide life-saving services to you and your family by quickly finding your house during an emergency.

Q. Is the 911 address the same as the mailing address?

A.

Yes, your 911 address is the same as your mailing address unless you have a post office box. Even if you have a post office box, it is still important that your 911 address is associated with the post office box. This can be done by filling out a form at your local post office.


A mailing address is where the mail is delivered, such as a PO box or mailbox service. A mailing address, or postal address, is often regulated by postal authorities that are commonly associated with sending and receiving mail services. For example, in the US, this would be USPS.

Q. What are the design specifications required for 911 Address Signs?

A.

Although design requirements for 911 Address Signs differ between city and county, some general specifications are -


Number Height: Numbers must be at least 4 inches high. NFPA 1 Fire Code 2018 also mentions that address numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches (100 mm) high with a minimum stroke width of 1/2 inches (13 mm).


Visibility: Address numbers must be placed in a plainly legible position and visible from the street or road fronting the property.


Contrast: These numbers shall contrast with their background. It is also helpful if the numbers are reflective. Pick a color that has a light and dark contrast with the background. Shiny silver numbers on a black background are not visible.

Q. What are the advantages of 911 House Number Signs?

A.

Following are the advantages of 911 House Number Signs -


Emergency Services: 911 House Number Signs can help law enforcement officers, firefighters, and medical personnel to find you when you need help.


Improves response time: In an emergency, seconds can sometimes make a life-saving difference. A 911 House Number Sign can improve response time and ensure that emergency responders have the correct location.


Hassle-free Delivery: Clear House Number Signs are helpful for deliveries and visitors too. By properly posting your address in the correct place, you also allow delivery services, postal services, and utility service providers to find you quicker.

Q. What is the best location to post address number signs?

A.

Mailboxes are the most preferred locations for mounting address number signs. For 9-1-1 purposes, though, the beginning of the driveway, lane, easement, access road, etc., should also be marked. If your driveway leads to more than one address, post all numbers at the end of the driveway. Then post the correct number on each house or building.


Numbers on mailboxes alone do not meet most posting requirements. Mailboxes help the postal services deliver mail, but 911 responders need to find you in an emergency! Therefore, it's important to mark all entrances and turns along the way to your home.


Where access is by means of a private road and the building address cannot be viewed from the public way, a monument, pole, or other sign shall be used to identify the structure.


If address numbers are placed where grass, shrubs, vines, or other plants can grow and hinder visibility, the owner must curb the growth so that the numbers are always visible.


The address number sign should be posted so that it is visible from both directions of travel. 911 House numbers should be placed near the front door within a radius of the porch light and above eye level (at least 5 feet high above the grade of the roadway). Avoid placing numbers away from the front door, such as above garage doors.

Q. Why do 911 address signs need to be reflective?

A.

An emergency can hit you any time - day or night. Valuable time can be lost if your house number is not clearly visible to emergency responders, especially at night when visibility is nil. This means Police, Fire, and EMS responders cannot provide life-saving services to you and your family if they cannot find your house. 911 address signs need to be reflective so that responders can spot the signs and reach you quickly for help.

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