Importance of Prominently Displaying Address Numbers

Reading, MA — Police Chief David Clark and Fire Chief Gregory Burns wish to remind residents and business owners to properly display street numbers on their property to help ensure a timely response in case of an emergency.

“During an emergency, it’s vital that first responders are able to find the street number for the home or business they are trying to get to so there’s no delay in the response,” Chief Clark said. “Every second counts and ensuring that street numbers are visible is a simple way to ensure we get there right away.”

“Street numbers placed on your home or business, or on a post or mailbox visible from the street helps allow for a timely response during an emergency,” Chief Burns said. “Additionally, it’s important to make sure these numbers can be seen at any time of day, especially at night.

The Reading Police and Fire Departments would like to share the following recommendations regarding the proper display of house numbers:

  • All houses, businesses, and other buildings should clearly display street identification numbers, which should be visible and legible from the street in order to assist in emergency response efforts.
  • In the event that a house, business, or principal building is not visible from the street, the number should be displayed on a post or mailbox in a way that is visible from the street.
  • The numbers should be at least 3 inches tall.

In order to make street numbers more easily visible, the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services recommends the following:

  • Place numbers under lighting and with a contrasting background so they will be visible at night.
  • If your driveway is long, post your house number on both sides of a mailbox or sign pole at the end of the driveway near the road.
  • Be sure to trim trees and bushes that could be blocking street numbers.

Residents who have questions or concerns about the visibility of house or business street numbers should contact the Reading Fire Department at 781-944-3132 or the Reading Police Department at 781-944-1212.

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