Large number Anderson fires lead to ‘Fire Prevention Month’

ANDERSON, Ind. The fire chief in Anderson is hoping a month dedicated to fire prevention can help bring down the number of home fires.

Technically, National Fire Prevention Week kicked off on Sunday, but Chief Dave Cravens said he felt the department needed at least a month to reach the community.

“We’re one of the busiest fire departments in the state of Indiana,” he said.

Cravens says the department has seen almost 200 home fires so far this year. Many of them are being chalked up to accidents and mishaps. However, there are some that are being investigated as arson.

For a city the size of Anderson, Cravens says he’d like to see the number of fires reduced by half. He also says his crews are encountering too many homes with absent or non-working smoke detectors.

“A lot of times when your population goes down your fire loads and ems runs go down but ours have gone up,” he said.

To help address the problem, crews will hand out 2,000 smoke detectors and 5,000 fire prevention manuals in the coming weeks. Cravens says he hopes that the increased emphasis on education and prevention will help bring down the occurrences of home fires.

“I’d rather see firefighters sitting on the porch than running around all the time. If they’re sitting there, then people aren’t losing their properties, and not losing lives.”

For more information on the department’s fire prevention month or how you can get a smoke detector, you can contact the Anderson Fire Department at 765-648-6620.