My Turn: Don’t be afraid to take easy steps to be safe |

My Turn: Don’t be afraid to take easy steps to be safe

TRUCKEE, Calif. – I have a carpet cleaning business (Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning) so we are constantly finding homes for the first time. Frequently it is not easy to identify the house addresses. One homeowner will have the number posted over the garage; another will have it decoratively placed on a deck post; another will have it painted on a rock near the door and another will have it posted on a mailbox or bear box.

So cruising down the street looking for the right house is just part of the business and I totally get that. However, recently I have become aware of a potential danger.

Someone called my office to make an appointment and they did not know the address of the condo they were borrowing from a friend. They were able to give me directions … “Go up Maple Street until you see a guy in a lawn chair with a dog, then go right and when you cross the stream go two fence posts and make a left, then we are the unit in the second building on the left, bottom right.”


What I really needed was the address so that I could put it in my GPS and navigate to it. The caller could not provide me with an address. There were 4 adults and 2 kids in the house.

I began to think … what if there were an emergency? Uhh … the house is on fire, my grandpa is having chest pains, my daughter fell off the deck … what would you tell 911? How many really important minutes could be wasted?

These are easy actions to take:

1. Post the address of the property prominently in the kitchen.

2. Have a property “owners manual” with all emergency numbers and important information on the kitchen counter or fridge.

3. Occupants write up a sheet with the cell phone numbers of everyone who is occupying or visiting the house and post it in the kitchen. Tell everyone, especially children, about the list and where it is located.

4. Mark your address at the street with reflective numbers on either a mailbox, bear box or a post so that emergency vehicles can find you quickly.

5. Make certain everyone is aware of the gas and water shut off locations.

6. Encourage a safety meeting to review items 1 thru 5 above every time anyone visits.

Safety meetings may seem corny and overblown, but they save lives especially when people are in unfamiliar territory. I encourage everyone to take the time to take these steps to enable the best possible outcomes in case of an emergency.

I wish everyone a happy and safe 2012.

Annie Pratt is a Truckee resident.

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