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Police Services’ Help Us, Help You Campaign addresses visibility of house numbers

'In an emergency, seconds count'

The ability of police, ambulance drivers and firefighters to clearly identify your address could be a matter of life and death.

Beginning on Thursday, July 13, the Timmins Police Service’s Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) students will be present throughout the city, distributing information about the city’s By-Law No. 2005-6095, which pertains to house numbering.

Information will be left at residences which do not meet the proper house numbering criteria.

“It’s called Help Us, Help You, and its a public awareness campaign to remind residents that house numbers on buildings should be clearly marked and visible,” explained Kate Cantin, Timmins Police Communications Officer. “We have heard from a number of emergency services worker who stress the importance of these numbers being visible.”

“In an emergency, seconds count,” added Cantin. “So, it is essential that first responders have all the necessary information to locate those in need quickly and efficiently.”

As July 14, Youth in Policing Initiative students will be distributing information to homes and business in Timmins, Schumacher and South Porcupine that do not currently conform with the City of Timmins by-law 2005-6095 on address visibility. The brochure will inform owners about the need to make their street number more visible from the curb to emergency responders.

“Keep in mind that the by-law is there for a reason, and that is to allow addresses to be quickly identified in case of an emergency,” said Cantin.

The by-law will be posted on TPS' website for home and building owners who want more details

By-Law 2005-6095 Respecting House Numbering

“The minimum size for a house number under City of Timmins by-law is 10 centimetres,” explained Kate Cantin, Communications spokesperson for TPS.

But size is only one factor. Sometimes the numbers cannot be seen because of shrubbery or because the numbers blend into the background building material colour

“Many of the numbering issues are in the older homes in the downtown area, but newer suburban homes on large lots also may have numbers that are too far to see from the road side,” explained Cantin. “Those homes should have their house numbers displayed on a sign post.”

The other problem emergency responders face is with the existence of many smaller, secondary homes behind the main house. The addresses of those homes should also be clearly visible.

By-Law 2005-6095 provides the criteria for the visibility of house and building numbers.

The bylaw states, house numbers must be located at the front of the building, at the main entrance, or over the garage, and not be displayed higher than the first store of the building. It must be legible on a contrasting background with contrasting numbers with the numbers having a minimum height of 10 centimetres.

“The goal is public information, not enforcement,” Cantin said. “We hope that this will educate people and hope the changes of will be made at houses that do not conform to the by-law.”

“Whether it is a police call, a fire call, an ambulance call they are all emergency calls and it could be a matter of life and death to locate the address --those five seconds could be the difference between life and death,”

Besides involvement with the Help Us, Help You Campaign, the Youth in Policing Initiative are involved in a variety of other projects.

“Youth in Policing Initiative students are with us all summer, and the help with all sorts of things this is only one campaign,” said Cantin. “ The students will help with community events like Urban Park and Stars and Thunders. Help around the office. Get a chance to see what policing is all about.”

Meet the Youth in Policing Initiative Team