The West Chambers Fire District has improved its ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating from a Class 7 to a Class 5 according to Public Protection Classification (PPC) survey that took place at the end of 2014.
The new rating will officially take effect on April 1 and could serve to lower household insurance premiums of those in the West Chambers Fire Department service area.
ISO collects and evaluates information from communities on their structure fire suppression capabilities. The date is analyzed using a Fires Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) and then a PPC number, ranging from 1 to 10, is assigned to the community. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria. The last PPC survey in West Chambers took place in 1995.
The FSRS recognizes fire protection features only as they relate to suppression of first alarm structure fires. In developing a community’s PPC, only features related to reducing property losses from structural fires are evaluated.
ISO’s PPC program evaluates communities according to a uniform set of criteria, incorporating nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Water Works Association. A community’s PPC depends on:
- Needed fire flows, which are representative building locations used to determine the theoretical amount of water necessary for fire suppression purposes.
- Emergency communications, including emergency reporting, telecommunicators and dispatching systems.
- Fire department, including equipment, staffing, training, geographic distribution of fire companies, operational considerations and community risk reduction.
- Water supply, including inspection and flow testing of hydrants, alternative water supply operations, and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires up to 3,500 gpm.
Emergency communications accounts for 10 percent of the total classification; the fire department accounts for 50 percent and the water supply accounts for 40 percent.
ISO assigned West Chambers a 5/10 classification. The 5 applies to properties within five road miles of a recognized fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant or alternate water supply. The 10 applies to properties beyond 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant but within five road miles of a recognized fire station.
In the PPC evaluation, West Chambers achieved 8.2 out of 10 credits in the Emergency communication analysis; 22.37 credits out of 50 under the fire department analysis; and 21.40 credits out of 40 under the water supply analysis.
The West Chambers classification is equal to the City of LaFayette’s rating and is lower than the City of Lanett (Class 6).