Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Firefighters have trouble finding unidentifiable properties

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CENTRAL - Emergency responders say sometimes it is difficult to locate a residence they're called to for help because many homes do not have address in plain view.

The problem is increasing in smaller, rural fire districts including Central, St. Amant and St. George in East Baton Rouge Parish.

In Central, where the average travel time to an emergency call is under five minutes, many calls are increased by an extra two minutes when responders can't find an address.

"If we run into a series of addresses where we can't pinpoint, then we have 9-1-1 return a call and find out if they could flicker a light on the carport or step outside to flag us down," said Central Fire Department Capt. Derek Glover.

Glover says a call back to dispatch for address clarification happens at least once a week.

Emergency responders ask residents to have a visible address displayed with numbers at least 4 ft. high on a house within 5 ft. of the front door. Homes far from the road should have address numbers displayed on the mailbox. Reflective numbers are best for nighttime emergencies.

"It's very valuable that we get there in a timely fashion," said Glover. "Especially if somebody's not breathing and they don't have a bystander that's on the scene that knows CPR."

A simple test to see if your numbers are visible involves a flashlight. Stand at the curb and shine the light on your house. If you can't see the numbers, neither can the emergency help.


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