NORTH BELLMORE RANKS HIGHEST AMONG FIRE DEPARTMENTS
below is an explanation of how the Insurance Services Office's (ISO) rates departments
The data gathered from ISO officials is shared with insurance companies in order to determine a department's ranking, Nearly 45,000 departments across the country and 2,442 in New York are assessed using the PPC formula. According to the ISO website, the rating gauges the "capacity of the local fire department to respond if flames engulf a property in which the fire company has a financial stake." The findings are a means of assessing fire protection in a community and are used by insurance carriers in setting rates for insurance on residential and commercial properties.
ISO is an independent organization that serves insurance companies, fire departments, insurance regulators and others by providing information about risk. According to the office's website (www.iso.com), ISO collects information on a community's public fire protection and analyzes the data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) which reviews 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 or PPC from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents the best public protection while Class 10 indicates no recognized protection. The cost for the services of the ISO is paid for by the insurance companies and there is no expense for the taxpayer.
Ten percent of the overall grading is based on how well the fire department receives fire alarms and dispatches fire fighting resources, including telephone systems, the number of telephone lines, staffing and dispatching systems. Fifty percent of the grading is based on a fire department's first-alarm response and initial attack to minimize potential loss and includes review of equipment carried on apparatus, pumping capacity, reserve apparatus, department personnel, and staffing, training and geographical distribution of fire companies. A review of the water supply system accounts for the remaining 40 percent of the grading. This includes careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires in relation to hydrant size, type and installation.
"On average, communities with superior fire-protection services and therefore good Public Protection Classifications have lower fire losses than communities whose fire protection services are not as comprehensive," states the ISO website. The dollar value of a better PPC varies by state, but on average across the country, the cost of fire losses for homeowners policies in communities graded Class 9 are 65 percent higher than in communities graded Class 5.