Rating Preparedness

How your community’s fire preparation helps your business

Families moving to a new community typically check the local school system ratings. But businesses considering a new location may want to look into community ratings from the ISO, an independent organization that serves insurance companies, fire departments, insurance regulators and others. Specifically, the ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) program evaluates the fire-protection services of over 46,000 fire districts nationwide. The program compares community readiness on a national basis and not only helps communities keep pace with their growth, but also helps them plan and budget for improvements.

How are ratings determined? Field experts visit communities and collect information on the local fire department, fire alarm systems, communication capabilities and available water supplies. Ratings are assigned with Class 1 representing exemplary fire protection and Class 10 indicating that the area’s fire prevention services do not meet minimum standards.

Insurance companies use the ISO’s classifications for marketing and underwriting and also consider ratings when establishing premium levels. In general, good PPC ratings lead to lower fire insurance costs overall. ISO data about protection, response areas and the location of hydrants or other water supplies can also serve as a valuable resource when planning new building or acquisitions.

Wonder what the PPC rating is in your own area? In Indiana, of the 1,752 districts rated, none rated a 1; only one garnered a 2. Unfortunately, fully 752 or 43 percent received a 9 or 10. If we head out west to check the situation near our Phoenix office, we find that of the 325 districts in Arizona, there are no 1 ratings, but ten 2 ratings. Pretty good! And, only 40 or 12 percent received a 9 or 10 rating.

Curious now?

Most communities will provide their ratings upon request. If they don’t know them, a customized PPC report is available free of charge when your community’s fire chief or chief administrator sends a written request by mail to the ISO. The report includes your community’s PPC rating as well as how much water should be available for adequate fire protection at all commercial properties.

For more information, simply visit https://www.isomitigation.com/index.php/ppc-program.