Merrimack FD advises residents to make addresses visible

MERRIMACK – As this record-breaking winter has finally ended, the Merrimack Fire and Rescue Department would like to bring an important safety concern to everyone’s attention.

During several recent emergencies, the responding fire and ambulance apparatus have had a difficult time finding your address. In an emergency, seconds count and any delay is critical. Not being able to find the location of someone who is having a medical emergency or fire quickly can delay treatment and possibly even jeopardize lives.

Please help us find you by trying to think about how we respond to emergencies. Fire, ambulance and police units are dispatched by radio to a specific street address. Many times, we are looking for an address early in the morning or on a rainy or snowy night. Some locations only have the number on the house near the front door, which is usually not visible from the street. Some of the homes on streets in town do not have sequentially numbered houses; some may skip a number or even use letters, especially on older properties.

Our easiest way of finding your address is to look at your mailbox. Some of the concerns we have include mailboxes with only a name and no numbers, very small numbers, numbers in script that are hard to read, numbers on the mailbox door only or numbers only on one side of the mailbox.

The best way to address your house for us to find you is to have the house numbers near the front door in a color that contrasts with the house color and large enough to see from the road. Use dark numbers on a light colored house and light numbers on a dark colored house.

Most importantly, put 4-inch-high reflective numbers on both sides of the mailbox, again using contrasting colors. If you use a post office box and do not have a mailbox, use a signpost to post your address. Do not use names or script on the mailbox.

For more information, contact the Merrimack fire marshal’s office or visit