Editorial: Visible numbers

A few days of seasonable temperatures, where there is a 4 — and, dare we hope, a 5 — as the first digit, can make one feel absolutely giddy. Add to that the fact that we “sprang ahead” to daylight-saving time on Sunday — meaning the evening walk to the car to go home can be made while it is still light out — just lifts things a bit more. Perhaps spring really is just a week away.
But before we get too lighthearted, we need to turn to a few simple, but serious, matters. Along with our moods, our mailboxes have taken a real hit this winter. Some may no longer be standing, and of those that are, can you still see the house numbers on them? If not, it is time to replace them. If your house number is not on the mailbox, ensure that wherever it is, it is visible. These numbers are vital to emergency responders answering 911 calls. If they cannot find you, they cannot help you.
March can bring the season of slush and mud. While there has been considerable snowmelt, it is possible that unattended driveways and walks are still a mess. Again, this makes it difficult for emergency responders. Homes with automatic alarms should be especially vigilant. If the alarm goes off, police and fire respond. It doesn’t have to be a 911 call that sends lights and sirens to your home.
Next, how is the walkway? Does a visiting nurse, home health aide, therapist, or social worker regularly visit your home? Can the person make it to the front door?
It may be warmer, but oil deliveries are still needed. Can the oil truck driver get to your intake pipes? If they are under a gutter, they may be encased in ice from temperatures that bring dripping water during the day and freezing at night.
Please take a look at your home from another’s point of view and do what you need to make it more accessible.