Emergency officials discuss importance of address labeling

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Emergency officials are discussing the importance of having your address properly displayed at your residence.

In the event of an emergency time is of the essence, but response time might be extended if emergency crews are unable to locate the correct home. That’s why they stress the importance of properly displaying your address.

“Maybe there are two or three different mailboxes that don’t have an address. They will then have to figure out which one is correct, which causes a delay for the person who needs their assistance,” Lauderdale County E-911 Director Jared Stanley says.

Displaying your address is a requirement under county and city ordinances. The city allows you to post your address on the curb as long as it’s in view and is against a contrasting background. Many addresses were painted several years ago and have now faded.

“It’s really important that people not only label their addresses at the road, but also on the house itself,” Stanley says.

Some homes might have the required markings, but not be visible from the road. The city ordinance says it’s the building or homeowner’s responsibility to ensure the address is unobstructed at all times. Fire Marshal Jason Collier says finding some addresses can be a difficult task if the homeowner doesn’t follow the rules.

"It can really mess things up. It can make things a lot worse when there is a medical problem. If someone is not breathing, it can make it longer before they get help. An electrical problem, or something small we can't see, can intensify and do a lot more damage," Collier says.

When an address isn’t properly marked, that is noted at central dispatch, so it can be located more easily in the future.
“The best help comes from the homeowner and putting that address out on the side of the road or up on house where an emergency responder can see it,” Stanley says.

Addresses must be unobstructed. If the Address is on the curb it must be written on a contrasting background and be no longer than 36 inches. $25.00 for the first offense and $50.00 for each subsequent offense.