Hidden house numbers can slow emergency response

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GREENSBORO, N.C -- Is your address displayed correctly? If not, you may want to check before the City of Greensboro Planning and Development Department shows up at your front door later this month.

City leaders are getting ready to start what they call a "Street Numbers Campaign." The campaign is geared to crackdown on renters and homeowners who are not following the city's guidelines on posting an address.

According to Greensboro Fire Chief Kevin Pettigrew, the address issue has the potential to be a big problem for the fire department, which also responds to medical emergencies. Pettigrew said the fire department handles more than 50 cases a year related to improper addresses.

"That's what we are here to do: respond to the emergencies in a timely fashion. Every second counts," Pettigrew said.

The city ordinance states that the numbers on your home have to be at least three inches, placed within three feet of the front entrance of a home and contrast with the background.

But for some people, an improper address just slipped their minds. James Delotce has been renting a home on Caldwell Street for years without an address.

"I'm glad you brought it to my attention," Delotce said.

Homeowners will be given a warning first. If the address is not properly displayed after the warning, homeowners could face up to $500 in fines.

The "Street Numbers Campaign" is expected to start on April 21.

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