Can your house be found in an emergency?

In an emergency, police, fire and rescue workers depend on house numbers to find YOU as quickly as possible. Finding your home - especially at night - can be challenging if address numbers are unreadable, hidden, unlighted or have missing numbers and may delay emergency responders from getting to you as quickly as possible.

Are your house numbers visible from the street? Are they set on a background of contrasting color? If your house is hidden from the street, are your numbers attached to a visible fence, mailbox or gate? Is your mobile home identified with your house number? If you live on a corner, does your house number face the street named in your address?

If you've answered "no" to any of these questions, please follow the guidelines below to make sure your house number is easy to read:

  1. Numbers must be visible from the street. Existing residential home numbering can be 3 1/2 inches high, however new residential homes must be at least 5 inches high and if you replace existing numbers they must be at least 5 inches high.
  2. Numbers should be placed on a contrasting background, with a reflective coating on the numbers for easy visibility at night.
  3. Repair or replace aging address number placards, especially on mailboxes that are a distance from the front of the residence.
  4. Prune any bushes, tree limbs or other growth that has covered your house numbers.
  5. Numbers should be placed on or beside the front door. If your door is not easily seen from the street, put the numbers on a post, fence or tree at the driveway entrance so they can be clearly seen from the street. In addition to numbers on the front door of your house, if you have a rural-style mailbox, reflective and contrasting numbers should be placed on both sides of the box so they can be seen by an emergency vehicle approaching from either direction.

Fire Departments! Help us get the word out!

To help remind Kansans to take a fresh look at their homes to make sure their street addresses are easily seen by first responders in case of an emergency, we have developed a “bill stuffer” post card that local utility companies and municipalities can insert into their monthly bills. This card offers tips on making sure your home address is easily viewable from the street.

We are asking fire departments to contact their utility companies and city / municipal governments to ask them to consider including this bill stuff in with their monthly bills. If they agree, let us know how many you need and we'll put you on our list to receive a stack once they are printed.

If you are interested in participating, please email ksfmpio@ks.gov.

postcard offering tips on making street addresses visible for first responders