Insurance Services Office Public Protection Classification System
You have probably heard in the past that the cities of Bellevue and Dayton are Class 4 cities, but if you are not in the fire service or the insurance industry then that number may not mean a lot to you. Most citizens have no idea that the rating is a very important measurement tool of your fire protection services. Before you can fully appreciate your fire department’s rating, it is important to understand exactly what it is and how it may have an effect on lowering your property insurance rates.
What is Public Protection Classification (PPC)?
Public Protection Classification (PPC) is a nationwide classification system that analyzes the structure of a community’s local fire protection. The public fire protection of a city, town or area is graded using the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Fire Suppression Rating Schedule to develop the community’s classification. That rating is then used for property insurance rating purposes.
Why did our Classification Rating Change?
The ISO re-evaluates fire departments approximately every 4-5 years. Prior to 2017, the Fire Department of Bellevue-Dayton was a Class 4 fire department. Our fire department was recently re-rated in September 2017, and thanks to a lot of hard work and focused effort by fire department personnel, our rating improved and we now have a Class 2 rating. This is no small feat for our small department and the cities we protect, and we know that it will continue to take an ongoing, department-wide quality improvement effort to keep our Class 2 protection rating.
How is Fire Protection Capabilities Scored?
ISO classifies communities from 1 (the best) to 10 (the worst) based on how well they score on the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, which grades such features as the number of fire stations in the city, the type, age and number of fire apparatus, staffing levels and training hours, hose and equipment, vehicle maintenance, etc. Water supply evaluates water flow, hydrant locations and condition, operation, and maintenance of the water systems. Fire safety control encompasses prevention programs such as code enforcement, plan review, business inspections, and public education programs. The final category, emergency communications, evaluates the department’s dispatchers and dispatch center operations.
ISO field representatives use the Rating Schedule when surveying a community’s fire protection capability. The score that is determined from applying the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule is translated into a Public Protection Classification.
What does the Change from Class 4 to Class 2 mean to you?
So why is the ISO rating important? One reason is insurance rates. The better the Protection Class, the lower fire insurance rates are for homeowners and businesses in the community. Insurers determine how much the PPC affect premiums based on their own experience, so rating factors vary by insurance carriers. To find out how our community’s new Public Protection Classification affects how much you pay for insurance, please contact your insurer, or several insurers, if you are renewing or shopping for property insurance.
Another important reason for the Protection Class Rating is what it tells the community about how well your fire department is providing service. Having an independent evaluation of the fire department gives the public an objective, third-party assessment of how their fire department is performing. With our new Class 2 Rating, we believe you will agree that the Fire Department of Bellevue-Dayton is continually striving to provide the most advanced, professional, coordinated fire service to the communities it serves.