Campaign addresses vital issue

Oak Bay a part of regional campaign promoting visible house numbers

A regional campaign to promote visible house numbers hits the right safety note, according to Oak Bay Police.

“Oak Bay has hundreds of residences that have less than adequate visible address signage,” said Const. Rick Anthony, Oak Bay Police spokesman. “If we can’t find you, we can’t help you. Having a visible, easily seen address sign could mean the difference between life and death. Seconds count.”

Each year Leadership Victoria runs a Community Leadership Development Program with participants from all over the Greater Victoria area. The groups are tasked with developing community action projects. Team Enlighten – one of four teams in the program – created the action project ‘Is Your Number Up?’ The objective is to increase public safety by raising awareness of the crucial importance of address visibility for emergency first responders.

Participants in the program were offered a ride-along with Saanich Police, explained Team Enlighten member Christine Kenwood.

“The light bulb went on for one of our team members on her ride along,” Kenwood said. “Piles of the addresses could not be seen, so she brought it back to the team and we all thought it was a fabulous idea.”

A North Saanich resident, Kenwood is familiar with lack of streetlights and unkempt shrubbery hiding house numbers.

“It doesn’t seem all that important and some will argue to the ends of the world, that it’s an esthetic decision, but really if your child is sick or your husband has a heart attack and you call 911, you want them to be there as soon as possible,” Kenwood said.

They’re promoting the concept and garnered support from policing agencies around Greater Victoria in addition to social media campaigns and television spots.

“We developed content that was relevant about the issues that were most important: visibility, luminosity, non-obstruction, that sort of stuff, then tips and strategies where to get reflective numbers and paint and created a Facebook page,” Kenwood said. “We also developed two public service announcements.”

Their online social media campaign at facebook.comAddressVisibility, clarifies problems associated with hidden or absent signage and offers solutions. Prizes offer the added incentive for residents to display clear, visible address numbers.

The television promotions will be broadcast on A&E, TLC and AMC during primetime.

Team Enlighten’s partners include B.C. Emergency Health Services, Saanich Police and Fire, Oak Bay Police and Fire and the Oak Bay Emergency Program. The project is sponsored by Capital Region Emergency Service Telecommunications. For more information on the organization visit leadershipvictoria.org.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oak baynews.com