Safe measures needed for finding rural homes
Thank you to the Carbondale Fire Department volunteers for their Dec. 31 midnight response to our 911 call at my parents’ house six miles up the Crystal River. The smoke alarm awoke us at midnight, and we discovered smoke pouring from the furnace.
Luckily I was there to help my parents get out of the house. Our rural driveway has no address markings for the six homes that share it, just a U.S. Postal Service box. The firefighters drove past and turned around when they saw the next address that was visible, realizing they had gone too far.
My parents have been here for 42 years, and this was their first emergency. I realized how much danger they were in from lack of a visible street number, as did our neighbors and many other rural dwellers who have Highway 133 addresses but no visible numbers on the road.
I called Pitkin County the next day to find out about numbering. We are supposed to have 4-inch-tall numbers that are visible in the dark from both directions. I went to buy adhesive numbers and discovered that neither tape nor paint will adhere in this frigid cold to our driveway marker, the metal mailbox. Fire Chief Ron Leach has been very kind and will inform his team captains about exactly where my parents are should another emergency occur.
Delta County installs red-and-white-numbered signs on every rural driveway in the county. It is a poor county compared to Pitkin County. I suggest that Pitkin and Garfield counties follow this excellent safety measure. This past year was a terrible wildfire year; we should all have easy-to-find addresses for any emergency that should occur. If the county would install these on every public road to indicate house numbers, we would all be safer.
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