The lack of visible house numbers on residences inside the city limits of Houston was brought up by Public Works supervisor Ricko Nichols in the July 1 board of aldermen meeting and its ramifications spill over into several other areas of service to citizens.
“We’ve got to have some numbers on houses so we can take care of our business,” Nichols told aldermen.
Nichols was referencing issues the water department has had while trying to identify houses in the city. Nichols said the lack of visible numbers on homes hinders city workers who are trying to read meters or complete other water related activities.
“We don’t want to cut off the wrong water because we don’t know which house it is,” Nichols said. “We really need to do something about it.”
Nichols said problems identifying homes is not limited to the Public Works department but also affects firemen, police officers and other emergency personnel.
Houston fireman Jonathan Blankenship agreed.
“Seconds count in an emergency,” Blankenship said. “If we cannot find your house due to no visible house number, valuable life-saving seconds could be wasted. So many homes are not marked and that is so dangerous.”
Emergency Management Authority Director Linda Griffin also works part-time as a police officer and is a first responder. She said some people prefer to put their house numbers on their mailboxes but reminded people to make sure they are visible from the street in both directions and are reflective.
“Put the numbers on both side,” Griffin said.
Nichols said many houses in Houston have mailboxes that are grouped in clusters referring to several homes which still leads to a possible misidentification.