ISO Public Protection Classification
Most U.S. insurers of home and business properties use Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) Property Protection Classification (PPC) in calculating premiums. In general, the price of insurance in a community with a good PPC is lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal.
A community’s PPC depends on:
- Emergency communications systems, including facilities for the public to report fires, staffing, training, certification of telecommunicators, and facilities for dispatching fire departments
- The fire department, including equipment, staffing, training, and geographic deployment of fire companies
- The water supply system, including the inspection and flow testing of hydrants and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires
- Community efforts to reduce the risk of fire, including fire prevention codes and enforcement, public fire safety education, and fire investigation programs
Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) Overview
The Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) is a manual containing the criteria ISO uses in reviewing the fire prevention and fire suppression capabilities of individual communities or fire protection areas. The schedule measures the major elements of a community’s fire protection system and develops a numerical grading called a Public Protection Classification
The FSRS considers three main areas of a community’s fire suppression system: emergency communications, fire department (including operational considerations), and water supply. In addition, it includes a Community Risk Reduction section that recognizes community efforts to reduce losses through fire prevention, public fire safety education, and fire investigation.
A maximum of 10 points of a community’s overall score is based on how well the fire department receives and dispatches fire alarms. To include:
- the emergency reporting system
- the communications center, including the number of telecommunicators
- computer-aided dispatch (CAD) facilities
- the dispatch circuits and how the center notifies firefighters about the location of the emergency
A maximum of 50 points of the overall score is based on the fire department. ISO reviews the distribution of fire companies throughout the area and checks that the fire department tests its pumps regularly and inventories each engine and ladder company’s equipment according to NFPA 1901. ISO also reviews the fire company records to determine factors such as:
- type and extent of training provided to fire company personnel
- number of people who participate in training
- firefighter response to emergencies
- maintenance and testing of the fire department’s equipment
A maximum of 40 points of the overall score is based on the community’s water supply. This part of the survey focuses on whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption. ISO surveys all components of the water supply system. ISO reviews fire hydrant inspections and frequency of flow testing. They also count the number of fire hydrants that are no more than 1,000 feet from the representative locations.
Community risk reduction
The Community Risk Reduction section of the FSRS offers a maximum of 5.5 points, resulting in 105.5 total points available in the FSRS. The inclusion of this section for “extra points” allows recognition for those communities that employ effective fire prevention practices, without unduly affecting those who have not yet adopted such measures.
The addition of Community Risk Reduction gives incentives to those communities who strive proactively to reduce fire severity through a structured program of fire prevention activities. The areas of community risk reduction evaluated in this section include:
- fire prevention
- fire safety education
- fire investigation
Public Protection Classification Survey: https://www.isomitigation.com/survey/your-community-s-ppc-survey.html
A Free Service for Fire Officials
ISO offers Fire Chiefs Online — a special secured website with information and features that can help improve your ISO Public Protection Classification (PPCTM).
Fire Chiefs Online https://www.isomitigation.com/register.html
On this site, you’ll be able to:
- fill out the Community Outreach Questionnaire to let the ISO know about the latest improvements in your fire department, water supply, and alarm system
- access an interactive map of your fire-protection area
- access valuable reports on commercial buildings in your jurisdiction
- information on building construction, occupancies, and hazards
- information on sprinkler systems
- estimate the Needed Fire Flow for buildings
- register and manage additional staff for access
ISO requirements and procedures, lists of required and equivalent equipment, and other information that can help you get the best possible PPC for your community. https://www.isomitigation.com/technical/technical-subjects-overview.html
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