Langford fire prevention officer Chris Aubrey has to forcefully push a cedar bush to read an address number. Langford Fire Rescue is encouraging everyone to make sure addresses are clearly viable for all emergency services.

West Shore spring cleanup includes fire safety

Langford fire department asks residents to keep addresses visible

As spring approaches, Langford Fire Rescue reminds residents to make sure the safety of their homes has not been compromised over the winter months.

One simple thing residents can do – it’s actually a requirement, kind of like clearing snow off your walkway for letter carriers – is make sure home addresses are clear and visible. Wind and rain can fade and strip painted signs and overgrown bushes have the potential to block them out.

“Obviously time is paramount and the quicker we can find your address, day and night, the faster we can come and provide aid,” said Chris Aubrey, fire prevention officer.

The department also recommends addresses be visible from the road in both directions, so firefighters can spot it either way. If possible, having the address lit also helps identify your home quickly.

A City of Langford bylaw dictates all addresses must be six inches high, in a contrasting colour from the house and be visible from the street.

“Brass numbers look really nice for the first year, but then they start to fade. Especially if you put them on wood, it can really blend in and after a while it’s almost impossible to see the numbers,” Aubrey said. “If you’ve got dark-coloured wood, put white numbers on it. If you’ve got light coloured wood, then put black numbers on it. Those seem to be the ones that will stand out over the long term.”

Sooke’s Fire Rescue Service makes reflective signs for homeowners and Langford residents can buy them through the Langford fire department. The signs conform to the city bylaw and cost around $25, with proceeds going to Sooke’s fire prevention division.

To order a sign contact Langford’s fire prevention unit at 250-478-9555.

Other spring cleaning tasks recommended by the department include testing smoke alarms, changing their batteries, and cleaning and checking over barbecues before firing them up.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com