May 22, 2013 8:35 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Cal Fire addresses poor street addressing problem

San Luis Obispo County Cal Fire is tackling a new battle. It's not a fire, but difficulties finding people and homes in emergencies. The agency said it is because of poor street addressing.

Cal Fire wants address numbers to be at least six inches tall and a half-inch thick. It said it is actually now current fire code, but not every home meets this requirement.

Cal Fire Driver Operator Stephen Yoder told KSBY News on Wednesday that especially at night, it can be very hard to spot a specific home if the address number is not labeled clearly and large. Spending time finding these numbers, he said, can swallow up precious time and that time could be better spent towards emergency assistance.

"Because of our map books, we know the general area of where the house is gonna be, but we don't know the exact house and we look for the numbers," said Yoder.

Tina Rose, the Information Officer for Cal Fire, said bad addressing is becoming a significant problem in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County. She said there is no way they can help you, if they can't find you.

San Luis Obispo County Fire Chief Robert Lewin has sent letters to all the local hardware stores to make sure they are always in stock of the large, six-inch reflective address numbers.



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