Address numbers are required by the city and by Lee County 911 to identify and locate individual structures. They're vital to emergency responders in the case of a fire, robbery, heart attack or any other issue needing immediate attention.
But they're also nice to have around for the pizza delivery guy.
According to city code, all properties must have address numbers affixed to the front of the structure so that they're visible from the road. Numbers must be at least 4 inches in height and must be either black or a color that contrasts with the color of the structure. If a property isn't visible from the road, numbers must be posted on a sign near the road.
Mailboxes also must display the numbers.
"There are so many houses that do not have house numbers on them, as well as a lot of mailboxes," said Tupelo Development Services Director BJ Teal. "Some of them don't have either one. It sounds dramatic, but if you called 911 and it's an emergency, it could be a matter of life or death."
A quick drive through Tupelo revealed several dozen homes and businesses without visible numbers. On at least one house, the numbers were there but apparently had been painted over to match the color of the house and barely could be seen from the road.
Property owners who need numbers can request them from Lee County 911, which will send a representative to remeasure the property line,
"We'll do measurement to make sure numbers will be correct," said Donald Thomas of Lee County 911. "We provide the numbers and we'll put them up. It is free."
The agency has different measurements for different parts of the county, Thomas said. Numbers are assigned based on a structure's distance, in feet, from its front door to the front door of the adjacent structure.
Lee County 911 also performs the measurements for each new structure and each new subdivision built.
Failure to display numbers can result in a warning. If property owners still don't comply, they could face fines of $10 per day.
TO ASK a question or report code violations, call the Tupelo Development Services Department at (662) 841-6510 and ask to speak to the Code Enforcement Division. To get an address number from Lee County 911, call (662) 869-2911.
THIS IS PART 1 in a series of stories about common Tupelo code violations heavily targeted this summer by the city. Other stories will be:
May 7: Lawn parking
May 14: Banners and signs
May 21: Grass mowing
May 28: Outdoor storage
June 4: Junk vehicles
June 11: Fences
June 18: Trash containers
June 25: Landscape maintenance
July 2: Commercial codes