House number campaign is launched

John Hanna (PSNI Neighbourhood Inspector); Jonathan Gamble (NIFRS District Commander); Mayor Alistair Cathcart; Graeme Bannister (Chair of the Community Resuscitation Group); Michael Allen (NIAS). Image: Ian Pedlow

House number campaign is launched

ARDS and North Down Council is supporting a campaign to encourage all homes and businesses in the borough to clearly display numbers on their doors, making it easier for emergency services to identify their location.

Every second counts during an emergency and the Ards and North Down Community Resuscitation Group is striving to ensure that houses and premises are numbered and clearly visible from the road. Emergency services responding to 999 calls can lose valuable time if numbers are not visible, leading to potential life-threatening delays.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alistair Cathcart, said the emergency services need to get to 999 calls as quickly as possible.

“If a house does not have its name or number clearly displayed, this can cause a potential life-threatening delay in reaching the patient,” he said. “So it is vital that all properties display their name or number clearly and that it is visible from the road.”

A council spokesman said: “To help emergency services, signs can be placed at the side of the house that faces the road, or if this is too far away from the road, the number can be displayed on gateposts.

“Ideally the sign should be lit at night but where this isn’t possible, reflective house address signs are encouraged. These can be purchased from local hardware stores. For those living in more rural locations, placing a number on a large stone on either side of the laneway can be helpful.

“Houses can be named but legally, numbers must be displayed at all houses. They are vital in assisting emergency services respond quickly to emergencies. It could make the difference between life and death.”

Michael Allen, representing the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, said: “Fewer than one in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. This is why it is important to call 999, start CPR and get an ambulance there immediately. Each minute of delay reduces the probability of survival to hospital discharge by 10%.”

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