Easy-to-see addresses important in emergencies
The Park Ridge Fire Department is reminding residents and business owners to make their addresses visible for emergency personnel. | Jennifer Johnson~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 21, 2012 1:13PM
PARK RIDGE — The neighborhood mail carrier isn’t the only one whose job relies on knowing your address.
For emergency personnel, a clearly posted house number is vital — and getting that message across has become a new initiative of the Park Ridge Fire Department.
“It is a problem and it’s becoming more of an issue,” Park Ridge Fire Chief Mike Zywanski said of hard-to-see or missing address numbers.
In the coming weeks the department will be educating residents about the proper way to display their addresses. This will be done through advertisements on the city’s cable-access channel, a press release on the city’s website and an informational booth during the annual Fire Department Open House on Oct. 9.
“People sometimes make improvements or changes to the outside of the house and sometimes the address is overlooked or it’s a second thought,” Zywanski said. “We’re just trying to raise awareness because it can affect our emergency response.”
According to the Park Ridge Municipal Code, address numbers must measure no less than three inches tall and be displayed “in a conspicuous place at or near the main entrance to the building.” The numbers must be a color that makes them easily readable from the street.
Addresses cannot be obscured by landscaping or any kind of decorative materials.
According to the fire chief, in an emergency even seconds count when it comes to finding the correct location of a call. Though fire department vehicles are equipped with GPS devices, the technology cannot replace a visual address number, Zywanski said.
Residents with questions about the proper display of address numbers can call the Park Ridge Fire Department at 847-318-5283.