Blue Springs cracking down on unreadable house numbers - KCTV5 News


Blue Springs cracking down on unreadable house numbers

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When someone calls 911 they're asking for emergency help and seconds matter. To better protect and serve residents, The City of Blue Springs is enforcing property codes to keep you alive.

In an instant, first responders were on their way to Karen Buss’ home.

“Mom fell down and broke her hip. I had to call 911,” said Buss.

Buss’ 90-year-old mother Victoria needed help fast. She said waiting for emergency responders felt like an eternity.

“After I called, it seemed like it took a while but really it was about four minutes,” said Buss.

The words ‘Nineteen O Four’ are written in elegant black cursive over Buss’ garage. The words, rather than numbers, could have been an issue for emergency responders.

“The main thing we’re concerned about is people’s safety,” said Blue Springs Police Sgt. Joe Fanera.

Disguised, hidden and missing house numbers plague emergency responders daily. Fanera said missing a house number and circling the block, even for a minute, can be devastating.

“Did the person leave the residence? Did the person need medical attention?,” asked Fanera. “That 60 seconds could cost somebody their life.”

To better protect and serve residents, the City of Blue Springs sent out notices to problem homes. The letter details the city’s property maintenance codes adopted in 2009.

"According to code, each structure to which a street number has been assigned shall have such number displayed in a position easily observed and readable from the public way. All numbers shall contrast with the background and be Arabic numerals at least four (4) inches high and one half (1/2) inch stroke."

“We just ask the public to please think about these things because you never know when you’re going to need a response from the police or fire department,” said Fanera.

Making small changes to numbers can make a life changing difference for families like Buss’. The code change notification is something she is going to take to heart to protect her mother.

“I might add to it, but I’ll still keep my cursive,” said Buss.

The property codes being enforced in Blue Springs aren’t unique to the city. Blue Springs uses part of the International Property Maintenance Code used by cities worldwide.

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