Published: Sep 29, 2010 10:37 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 29, 2010 7:03 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Small placards are going up on buildings in Cape Coral. The purpose is to warn firefighters of potential trouble. It's a small sign that has big meaning for Cape Coral firefighters.

"It's a life and death things for us. It's very important."

Division of Operations Fire Chief, Tom Tomich said building inspectors put the signs on commercial and multi-family properties - ones that have light weight wood construction which could collapse in a serious fire.

"It starts to come apart and the weight that's on top of it comes down on top who ever is underneath it."

Tomich said when it comes to fighting a fire "you can't tell a book by it's cover."

These signs immediately give firefighters a better idea of what they are dealing with and how much time they have inside a burning building. They started going up in Cape Coral over the last few weeks.

"It's a new state code that's being adopted and implemented all over Florida."

The state passed the code after two firefighters were killed when lightweight construction collapsed on them.

"They said the new things is to have the stickers out there."

Tracy Townsend owns Townsend Title on Del Prado Boulevard. Her company has the sign by it's front door. She's glad it's there.

"We've seen them everywhere too, so it's good to have them out there."

Chief Tomich said it's important to stress - these signs do not mean the building is unsafe. In normal conditions the building is okay.

"The buildings are safe and have been expected. The buildings themselves are fine. This is really provision for buildings that encounter heavy fire loads."

Because this is a new state code, the fire signs will soon be on buildings in cities and counties across Southwest Florida.