Baltimore County

Fire companies urge use of reflective house numbers

North County firefighters and emergency medical technicians are hoping area homeowners will make a New Year's resolution to mark their houses with reflective numbers so they can be located easily.

To make that resolution easier to keep, several volunteer companies sell numbers big enough to be seen in the daytime that also reflect headlights so they're visible at night.

To that end, Butler, Hereford, Long Green and Maryland Line volunteer fire companies all sell the numbers.

"The biggest problem out here is driveways in a development where there are a bunch of numbers at the base of a driveway that splits off into others. Some people don't put a second set of numbers at their own driveway," said Chuck Bollinger, Hereford Volunteer Fire Company chief. "Sometimes we have to guess as we drive by and see if the numbers go higher or lower. Do you really want us to guess when you need us?"

He said Hereford engines have a GPS system, but it doesn't always help inside a development.

Firefighter Tony Spurlock said he and other Maryland Line Fire Company volunteers regularly drive around their coverage area and look for multiple driveways off a road or off a main driveway.

He said they map out houses in a development and then put the map in the "box book" that firefighters take with them every time the engine goes out.

"There have been times we've had to back out of a driveway because it's the wrong one. Nobody likes that to happen," he said. "We've had numerous problems."

The reflective signs can be ordered with as many as five white numbers on a green background. The numbers are on both sides, so they can be read by traffic from either direction.

A set of numbers can be purchased for $20-$25. Details are available by calling the following fire companies:

Butler, 410-887-7913; Hereford, 410-887-1934; Long Green, 410-887-5772; Maryland Line, 410-887-1932.

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