Rotary to launch high visibility address sign project

The Sechelt branch of Rotary Club Sunshine Coast will be showcasing high visibility house number signs at the Trail Bay Mall this Saturday, March 16.

The club will be selling the signs as part of community project.

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Rotary member and longtime Sechelt resident Laurean Reid said she first saw the number signs in widespread use on Bowen Island and wanted to bring them to the Sunshine Coast.

“Over the years that I have lived in Sechelt there has been no standardized house number signage to enable emergency services, delivery companies and friends to easily, accurately and efficiently access homes, particularly at night,” Reid said in a release announcing the initiative.

“When visiting Bowen Island in October 2018, I noticed that their house signage was excellent so contacted the Bowen Island Rotary Club to acquire the information around their project.”

Reid also approached police, the fire department and Emergency Health Services to get their support.

Sheree Haydu of BC Emergency Health Services said, “A challenge for all first responders is locating houses after 911 has been activated. The need for a clear visible number cannot be emphasized enough as often address numbers are missing, hidden or not visible at night causing responses that are delayed as responders attempt to locate the correct address… Every second can count when an emergency vehicle is trying to locate a house and I believe these reflective number signs will aid all first responders.”

Staff Sgt. Poppy Hallam, Sunshine Coast RCMP detachment commander, is also supporting the project. “As first responders, there can be trouble locating addresses in rural areas such as on the Sunshine Coast and the delays can mean the difference between life and death. The Sunshine Coast RCMP finds undisputable evidence that supports visible signage on houses or marks driveways,” Hallam said.

Sechelt Fire Chief Trevor Pike concurred. “It is not uncommon for crews to spend valuable response time trying to locate civic addresses that are either not displayed at all, or displayed in a manner that makes it difficult for first responders to locate the address. This is particularly evident in the more rural areas and residences with long driveways that are not marked. Nighttime responses complicate this matter even more,” he said.

After being approached by Rotary in January, Sechelt council is expected to give final approval later this month to bylaw changes that will make the signs legal.

The district’s sign bylaw prohibits signs that use“Day-Glo, fluorescent, luminous or reflective paint or similar products.”

At its March 6 meeting, council gave three readings to an amendment that would add a “notwithstanding clause” that says the prohibition will not apply to residential address signs as long as the house numbers are the only things on the sign and it’s no bigger than 0.3 sq. metres.

The Rotary Club said it was able to find a supplier for the signs on the Sunshine Coast.

It plans to make them available in horizontal and vertical alignments at $30 for a 6” x 14” sign and $40 for a 6” x 18” sign. They’re also offering metal stakes to mount the signs for an extra $20.

The money raised will support Rotary projects in the community.

To order a sign, or get more information, email rotaryhousenumbers@gmail.com

 

 

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