Make sure an ambulance crew can find your home in an emergency this winter

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Simple common sense will help us find properties more quickly in an emergency, urge bosses as part of the ambulance service’s winter campaign.

Householders could be doing more to ensure their homes will be easily identifiable from the road, and the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is suggesting six simple tips to prepare for an emergency and when waiting for a response:

* Make sure the house number is large enough and in a place where it can be seen from the road

* If possible, place the house name or number on a wall or gate post next to the road as well as on the door

* Cut back foliage regularly so the front of the property can be seen

* Ensure the number or name stands out – black on white or vice versa is best

* When waiting for a response, leave hazard lights on a car parked in the drive or on the road, and switch on any outside lights on the property

* Obtain your home’s map grid reference and have it handy in case of emergency

Karl Edwards, Deputy Director of Service Delivery, said: “Often not having a clearly visible house number or failing to give information about a potentially difficult-to-find address could mean the difference between life and death. Every minute saved is vital to a patient’s chances of survival but unfortunately crucial seconds or minutes can be lost driving up and down long roads looking for properties.

“With winter’s more limited daylight hours, it is even more important people make their properties easily identifiable from the road - many have their names and numbers concealed by trees or overgrown hedges, are too small to see or, worse still, have no signage at all.”

He added that callers to 999 can also help up by giving clear instructions on finding less obvious addresses:

* Is the address in a neighbourhood which has multiple entrances? If so, which one are you closest to?

* Is it near a bus stop, pay phone, letter box, lay-by, or other ‘landmark’?

* What colour is the front door?

* Is there someone who will be outside to flag them down?