Usability in the real world: having clear house and building numbers aids emergency services like the police and paramedics, which could save lives.
The article appeared in the Roodepoort Northsider:
You never know when an emergency service might need to find your address.
In a situation when every second counts, your house number needs to be clearly visible from the road so you can be found as quickly as possible.
It has been reported that the emergency services regularly have trouble responding due to obscured or missing house numbers. Fire trucks, ambulances and the police took time to respond to incidents due to this.
Spokesperson for the Johannesburg Emergency Services Robert Mulaudzi advise[s] residents to place the house numbers high enough so that they are clearly visible.
It also helps when the number has a contrasting colour with the background because it makes it more visible, he said.
Mulaudzi added that [the] number should be placed in a position so that it can be seen when the house is approached from both directions.
Fire trucks, ambulances or police come from any direction, so be sure that both sides of the mailbox or the house are clearly marked and can be seen from both directions.
He concluded by saying reflective numbers are highly recommended but any house number is better than none at all.