We have all been there -- driving to an unfamiliar area and trying to find an unfamiliar address. If house/street numbers are clearly displayed, you can find your destination fairly easily. But if there is no name or street number clearly visible, how do you know if you are at the right place? Where are you? Where is the house? This sounds like a simple question but, in an emergency, it can be the difference between life and death.

Put yourself in the emergency responder's role -- police, fire or EMS -- and see how difficult the task becomes. Having your street/house number clearly posted so that emergency responders can easily find your home is critical and it is something that you have to do. If you have a long, shared driveway, directional signs are a must.

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Precious time is lost every day when public safety personnel try to locate an address and all they see are blank mailboxes staring back at them. If there is a number on the box and/or house, then their job is much easier and you get the help you need much faster.

Please clearly post your street numbers on the mailbox -- preferably with 4-inch-high, contrasting numbers. If you have any questions about how to mark your home please call the New Canaan Fire Marshal's Office at 203-594-3030.