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House Numbers

Easily seen house numbers can mean the difference between hot and cold pizza, friends finding you for a party, or even life or death when you call 911.

Numbering Basics

Most communities enact house number ordinances detailing exactly what is expected. But here is a summary of the best numbering practices preferred by police, fire and ambulance:

  • Use reflective or high contrast numbers at least 4-inches high
  • Put numbers on the mailbox where your driveway meets the street as well as on the house
  • Make sure numbers are on both sides of the mailbox or post, not on the front
  • Avoid fancy script numbers or Roman numerals
  • If your mailbox is across the street, put a stone marker or sign at the end of the driveway.

Once your numbers in place, keep them visible:

  • Cut away plants or flowers and avoid placing a newspaper box where it hides your number
  • Notice when a number falls off and replace them right away
  • Make sure your numbers don't rust or fade into the background color and can easily be seen when driving by at 30 m.p.h. at night

Hi-Tech House Numbers

The latest fad is LED-powered house numbers. These light up at night and can be seen for a hundred feet or more. These would be good if your house is set well off the road.

Be a Good Neighbor

Check elderly neighbor's houses for good numbering, and help them correct any problems. Don't let the police, fire or ambulance spend precious minutes at an unnumbered house before deciding they're at the wrong one.

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