There's an old joke about how to find a burning home or other fires.
The fire chief says "What's the address?" and the people say, "Just drive down the road until you see smoke," according to Cedar Key VFD Fire Chief Robert Robinson.
But to Robinson and other firefighters in the area, finding a home quickly during an emergency is no laughing matter. That's why the Cedar Key Fire Department and several others started distributing reflective metal plates with house numbers.
The plates are screwed onto mailboxes or posts so house numbers can be easily spotted day or night. Often, house numbers can be difficult to find because the homes are set back from the road or they are of decorative styles that are not easily seen.
"These plates could very well be the difference between life and death," Robinson said. "If we have to drive down a road two or three times to find a house, it could be too late. It's not just for firefighters. The sign also helps rescue vehicles and police find homes quickly."
Order forms are available at city hall or by calling the fire station at 543-5192.
"These plates make a big difference," Robinson said. "If you go out on a call on a dark, rainy night and houses have no numbers, you can hardly find them. It helps all of us. If we can't find you, we can't help," he stressed.