Safety comes in numbers

Published 2:14 pm Monday, November 26, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Imagine your home is filling with smoke or you woke up to find a burglar standing in your living room. You dial 9-1-1 and wait for emergency personnel to arrive at your house. Without having numbers marking your residence, you are putting yourself in even more danger.
It is important to number your home, according to Atmore Fire Department assistant chief Mike Staples.
"When responders can't find the numbers on a house, they drive up and down the streets," Staples said. "It appears that they are lost, but the reason is because there are no numbers on the houses. This takes up a lot of time."
Staples said just because a building is on fire, that does not mean smoke will be visible from the road. When there are not any numbers, by the time the fire department reaches the fire it could be too late.
"There are a lot of organizations that offer florescent numbers," Staples said. "If nothing else, go to the hardware store and buy stick-on numbers or you can even paint them on."
Staples said there are many homes in Atmore that have no identification on them.
"This is a big problem in Atmore," he said. "For less than $15 it can be remedied."
The fire department asks that all homes be numbered properly in case an emergency situation arises.
"We are asking all residents of Atmore and the surrounding areas to please post an address," Staples said. "It would help not only the fire department a lot, but also EMS and the police."
Atmore fire chief Gerry McGhee agreed.
"When the dispatcher gets a call, if the resident has no smoke showing and the house has no visible address, a lot of times the dispatcher will have to call back and ask for them to come out and wave us down," he said. "We know where all the streets are, but it would help the fire department find houses faster."
Some tips for home owners include:
Call your local fire department for more information.

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