House numbers for the emergency services

House numbers for the emergency services. I’ve written a lot about the importance of a house name or number for the purposes of kerb appeal. But house numbers are especially important for another reason. Locating you in an emergency.

So, there may come a time (and I hope that that time never arrives) when you need the emergency services, whether that’s the fire service, ambulance or police, they need to know where you are so they can get to you quickly and assist you.

When you call 999, firstly they will ask you which service you require and they will proceed to put you through to the one you need.

They will ask you for your house number or name and your postcode and they will direct the nearest available unit to you as quickly as they can.

But what use is it if they can’t locate you because of something as simple as your house number being invisible?

So, there are a few things to consider when making your house number/nameplate visible.

Firstly, the size of it.

There is no point in having a tiny little number/name that you can only see when you walk up to the front door. You need to have a number/name that is clearly visible from the road. If you have a drive leading up to your front door then it's going to be even more difficult to see if it's not big enough. It should be big, bold and prominent. Nobody can complain that they can't see you then can they?

Next, consider lighting


How about an LED house sign/number? These will be illuminated for all to see. Even Santa wont miss you with one of these. If an LED sign isn't quite what you want, how about installing a security light or perhaps a porch light. These will help boost your kerb appeal, whilst also making you more visible to those who need to find you.

What about location?

5 New Road

I'm not talking about GPS here. I'm talking about where exactly you should be hanging your number or sign. There's no point having it in the back garden. No one will see it. The best place to hang your house sign is somewhere level with the eye near the front door, ideally. If you live on a lane, or you have a long drive, it would be ideal to have a numbered letter box, or a place to hang a sign at the end of the drive. If it's large enough, mount it, on two wooden posts that have been secured into the ground with no risk of falling over.


Another way to make your house number or name stand out is to make use of bold colours. Contrasting colours would work even better. It's all about making yourself visible. Acrylic is an excellent material for this sort of sign as the vinyl used comes in all sorts of colours.

So, don’t put yourself at risk of being missed. Make sure;

  • You replace faded numbers
  • You trim overgrown shrubs, trees and bushes that may obstruct visibility.
  • Your number/name is visible from the road.
  • It is eye level somewhere near your front door.
  • You have some sort of lighting.
  • If you live on a lane, make sure your number or name is marked clearly on a letterbox, post or wall.

In a medical emergency, every second counts. It can literally be a life or death situation.

So, it’s not just the emergency services that will benefit from a visible house name or number. Say you’ve moved house, and you’ve got visitors coming from here, there and everywhere. Chances are, a handful of them will get lost, even with today’s GPS capabilities. I know I’ve been taken around in circles by mine.

Technology, it’s great when it works.

Builders, electric meter readers, the gas board, and the pizza guy will all need to get to you. I mean, come on, pizza is a major part of my life. If I was deprived because of my house number, I’d be devastated. And no one likes cold pizza.

Anyway. I can’t stress the importance of being visible to the emergency services who work tirelessly to save lives every day. I could joke about it until the cows come home but seriously, help make their job easier by getting your front of house sorted.