The fire service must be able to rapidly identify and locate a specific building. Address numbers should be placed on the building facing the street or road on which the building is addressed. If the building entry faces a different street, both the street name and the number should be on the address sign.
Numbers should be large enough to read from the street or road. If this is not possible due to the location of the building or due to obstructions, additional signs should be provided (Figure 2.11). The IFC specifies that address numbers be a minimum of 4 inches high. Some jurisdictions have a higher minimum height requirement, especially for commercial properties. The number should be in Arabic numerals rather than spelled out (for example, “120” instead of “One Hundred Twenty”).
Buildings set back in groups that share common entrances can make quickly locating a specific building and the shortest route to it difficult. On such sites, additional signs with directional arrows and/or diagrams of the buildings and access layout should be posted (Figures 2.12 and 2.13).
Whenever possible, signs should be illuminated. In areas subject to snow accumulation, signs should be positioned above anticipated accumulations. See the section Firefighter Access on page 21 for signage to assist the fire service in identifying portions of a building, or interior layouts.
(Fig. 2.11) Supplemental address sign at the entrance serving this building set far back from the road.
(Fig. 2.12) Directional address sign at the entrance of a property.
(Fig. 2.13) Diagrammatic sign showing an entire complex of buildings and their address(es). The addition of fire hydrant locations (and any other fire protection features) would assist responding firefighters.