Hay River fire chief wants visible street addresses

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Ross Potter says it’s important for people to make their addresses visible from the street.

According to the fire chief and the director of protective services with the Town of Hay River, it could be difficult to find some residences in emergency situations because the house numbers can’t easily be seen by responders.

Fire Chief Ross Potter says homeowners should ensure that the street numbers for their houses are visible from the street.
NNSL file photo

Potter said the problem particularly exists in areas of town where houses can have large setbacks from a street, such as in Delancey Estates, Paradise Valley and the south end of Miron Drive.

“It’s very difficult to see house numbers,” he said. “Something we’d like to see from the fire department’s perspective is to have some sort of road signage with their numbers on their houses.”

Potter noted such signs close to the road would be a huge help to firefighters.

“It doesn’t spell that out in the bylaw, but definitely it makes it a lot better for us,” he said. “We had a call here just the other day where it was very, very difficult to find the house.”

Potter also wants to see numbers on all houses, even those close to the street.

“Of course we want to see it on all houses, otherwise we’re checking on one address and then counting down and counting houses, which interferes with response time for the fire department and also for the ambulance,” he said.

This is not the first time that Potter has raised the issue of visible house numbers.

“I typically do this three times a year trying to get people to come into compliance,” he said. “I mean, there is a bylaw saying they must be on there.”

However, the bylaw is used more to educate people, rather than to fine them.

Potter said it happens quite often that firefighters have to turn around after driving past a residence.

“It could make a difference of a few minutes,” he said. “It could be life or death.”

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