What is an ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating?
ISO's Public Protection Classification (PPCTM) Service gauges the capacity of the local fire department to respond if flames engulf a property in which your insurance company has a financial stake.
ISO collects information on a community's public fire protection and analyzes the data using our Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). We then assign a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents the best public protection, and Class 10 indicates no recognized protection.
By classifying a community's ability to suppress fires, ISO provides crucial information for understanding the entire landscape of risk associated with a specific property. We have extensive information on more than 44,000 fire-response jurisdictions.
The Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) is the manual ISO uses in reviewing the fire-fighting capabilities of individual communities. The schedule measures the major elements of a community's fire-suppression system and develops a numerical grading called a Public Protection Classification (PPC).
Here's how it works:
Ten percent of the overall grading is based on how well the fire department receives fire alarms and dispatches its fire-fighting resources. Our field representatives evaluate the communications center, looking at the number of operators at the center; the telephone service, including the number of telephone lines coming into the center; and the listing of emergency numbers in the telephone book. Field representatives also look at the dispatch circuits and how the center notifies firefighters about the location of the emergency.
Fifty percent of the overall grading is based on the number of engine companies and the amount of water a community needs to fight a fire. ISO reviews the distribution of fire companies throughout the area and checks that the fire department tests its pumps regularly and inventories each engine company's nozzles, hoses, breathing apparatus, and other equipment.
ISO also reviews the fire-company records to determine:
- 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 Water Supply
Forty percent of the grading 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, including pumps, storage, and filtration. To determine the rate of flow the water mains provide, we observe fire-flow tests at representative locations in the community. Finally, we evaluate the distribution of fire hydrants.
For more information on ISO's public-protection ratings, read ISO's PPC Program: Helping to Build Effective Fire-Protection Services.
Need a copy of the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS)? Download an order form and mail it to ISO. Or contact ISO Customer Service at 1-800-888-4476.
For more information on the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, click Talk to ISO. Or call ISO Customer Service at 1-800-888-4476 or your local ISO representative.
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