WIRRAL residents are being urged to make their house numbers visible this Christmas so that paramedics can find them when it matters most.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) say vital minutes in an emergency can be lost when ambulance crews are looking for houses in the dark and in life-threatening emergencies this can be the difference between life and death.

In cases of sudden cardiac arrest, the likelihood of surviving decreases by 10% every minute that passes without defibrillation.

People who suffer a stroke have a better chance of full recovery, the quicker they receive treatment.

NWAS is asking people to consider whether their property can be easily seen in the event of an emergency.

Ensure that your house number is visible from the road in the dark, switch on any outside lights, make sure there are no bushes or fences blocking the view and make sure that when cars are parked outside that your house number and name can be easily read.

Although ambulances are equipped with sat-navs, if the house number can’t be quickly identified, clinicians spend vital time looking for clues on the street including numbers on neighbouring properties and rubbish bins.

Advanced paramedic Luke Marriner, said: “We see lots of ‘Santa please stop here’ signs around at this time of year but it’s so important that people make an effort to ensure their property can be quickly found by an ambulance too.

“As the days are short and the nights are long, house numbers should be lit up where possible so that they can be seen in the dark with nothing blocking their view from the road.

“You can’t usually plan for an emergency, but you can prepare.

"We hope you never need us but just in case, please help us find you.”

Other ways to help emergency services find you include:

  • Ensure children know how to say their address and how to contact the ambulance service as soon as they are able to.
  • Smart phones can plot exact location co-ordinates in their map facilities, take some time to see how this works on your device.
  • Take notice of motorway markers, junctions and road signs so that you can explain where you are – don’t just rely on the sat-nav.
  • Look out for small blue driver location signs every 500 metres on motorways and some major A roads. Providing the details written on the sign nearest to the emergency will help crews get to you.