Help Quicken Fire and Rescue Response Time!

It is two o’clock in the morning and you awaken to the shrill sound of your home’s smoke alarms activating. You notice that the air is heavy with smoke. You hurry and awaken your family members and get everyone outside of the home at which point you call 9-1-1. The dispatcher verifies your address and you now wait until the fire department arrives to extinguish the fire. The firefighters race to the scene and are able to extinguish the blaze in time, saving many of your possessions.

            This is the situation that all citizens and fire department personnel should strive for. Because your home was correctly and clearly marked with your current address, the fire department personnel were able to find your home quickly. There is an old adage in the fire service, “We can’t help you if we can’t find you.” If your address is properly marked the emergency responders will be able to reach you quicker in the event of an emergency. If not, precious minutes can be wasted while the 9-1-1 dispatcher calls you back to verify your address or tell you to wave the personnel to your residence.

            Western Nassau County is very rural and many of the residences are not properly identified. Nassau County Ordinance Section 7-147 regulates the posting of addresses within the county. This ordinance requires residential structures that are less than 100 feet from a main roadway to have the address posted on the residence. The numerals must be a minimum of 3 ½ inches in height. If your home is more than 100 feet from a main roadway the numerals must be placed on a mailbox or post at the entrance to your residence from that main roadway. These numerals must also be a minimum of 3 ½ inches in height. Commercial structures are required to follow these same rules, with the exception that the numerals must be a minimum of six (6) inches in height. The height requirements are set so that responding emergency personnel can see your address from a distance and not pass by your residence.

            Emergency responders need to see your address if they are responding from either direction on the main roadway. Please post the numerals on both sides of the mailbox or post. The numerals on your home need to be posted on the part of the home that faces the main roadway.  The numerals should be made of durable, weather resistant, and reflective material. Several years ago many addresses were changed because the 9-1-1 mapping system was updated. Please remove any old address numerals from your homes and mailboxes, as this may cause confusion to the emergency responders. If the numerals are unreadable, please replace them with new numerals. In addition to properly posting your address, driveway access is very important to the responding emergency personnel. Your driveway needs to be at least 12 feet wide and have an overhead clearance of 15 feet. This space allows for easy access to your residence by the responding emergency apparatus.

            The volunteer firefighters and first responders along with the personnel of Nassau County Fire-Rescue are here to help you and your loved ones in your time of need. It frustrates the responding personnel if the location they are responding to is not properly identified. We strive to serve you with the best possible service; please do your part to help us find your home promptly by correctly and clearly marking your address.


Submitted by:

Rachel Benoit

Public Information Officer

Printed April 19, 2012


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