Clearly Marked

First responders are encouraging residents to display house numbers so that they can be clearly seen from the street or roadway.

Emergency response teams cannot find you if your house number is not clearly displayed.

In fact, a majority of them are not visible from the street, especially at night. A badly displayed number can cost you precious time in an emergency. The following guidelines will help you know how to display your house number.

On your house

  • The number should be posted so that it is visible from both directions of travel.
  • Trees, bushes or other debris should not block visibility from the road.
  • Numbers should be placed above eye level near the front door within a radius of the porch light.
  • Avoid placing numbers away from the front door such as above garage doors.

On your mailbox

  • Remember to mark your mailbox on both sides, but do not use your mailbox as the only means of identification for your house.
  • Numbers on the mailbox door may be great for your mail carrier, but they are extremely difficult to be seen by drivers.
  • The numbers on the mailbox need to be highly visible, so if you choose stickers, white letters on a black mailbox will be easily seen as will black letters on a white mailbox. Shiny silver numbers on a black mailbox are not visible.
  • Another option is to mount a sign above or below the mailbox making sure the sign color contrasts from the mailbox color.
  • If your mailbox is not in front of your house or near your driveway, emergency responders cannot locate you unless you have your house number on your house or on a post or sign in your yard.

Address signs

  • The bigger, the better. The number should be at least four inches tall if displayed on a house or sign. Get boldface type that is thick and wide.
  • Address signs should be placed about two feet from the driveway in the direction of the house.
  • Pick a color that will contrast with the background. If your house is a dark color, then the address sign should be light so that the number stands out and can be viewed from the street. For example, a black number is perfect on a white house. A white number will also show clearly on a brick house. A lighted number is even better for easy visibility at night.
  • Use caution with brass or bronze numbers as they are difficult to see on many backgrounds.

Following these guidelines will save valuable time in the event of an emergency. When facing a critical event, you don’t want to worry that emergency responders can’t find you. Help us help you.

Curtis Landers is the Lincoln County Sheriff. For more information and tips, visit


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