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About ISOISO is a leading source of information about property/casualtyinsurance risk. For a broad spectrum of commercial and personal linesof insurance, we provide statistical, actuarial, underwriting, and claimsdata; policy language; information about specific locations; fraudidentification tools; consulting services; and information for marketing,loss control, and premium audit.ISO collects information useful in many aspects of insuranceunderwriting. That information includes evaluations of public fireprotection, flood risk, and the adoption and enforcement of buildingcodes in individual communities. Information on municipal serviceshelps the communities with their efforts to manage and mitigate theirrisk.Through the Public Protection Classification (PPC ) program, ISOevaluates municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughoutthe United States. A community's investment in fire mitigation is aproven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. So insurancecompanies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for fireinsurance — generally offering lower premiums in communities withbetter protection. Many communities use the PPC as a benchmark formeasuring the effectiveness of their fire-protection services. The PPCprogram is also a tool that helps communities plan for, budget, andjustify improvements.Through the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS )program, ISO assesses the building codes in effect in individualcommunities and how those communities enforce their building codes.The assessments place special emphasis on mitigation of losses fromnatural hazards. The concept is simple: municipalities with wellenforced, up-to-date codes should demonstrate better loss experience,and insurance rates can reflect that. The prospect of lesseningcatastrophe-related damage and ultimately lowering insurance costsprovides an incentive for communities to enforce their building codesrigorously — especially as they relate to windstorm and earthquakedamage.!1

What is the PPC program?ISO collects information on municipal fire-protection efforts incommunities throughout the United States. In each of thosecommunities, ISO analyzes the relevant data using our FireSuppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). We then assign a PublicProtection Classification from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally representssuperior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area'sfire-suppression program doesn't meet ISO’s minimum criteria.By classifying communities' ability to suppress fires, ISO helps thecommunities evaluate their public fire-protection services. Theprogram provides an objective, countrywide standard that helps firedepartments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment, andtraining. And by securing lower fire insurance premiums forcommunities with better public protection, the PPC program providesincentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve theirfirefighting services.ISO has extensive information on more than 47,000 fire-responsejurisdictions.How the PPC Program WorksThe PPC program provides important, up-to-date information aboutmunicipal fire-protection services throughout the country. ISO’s expertstaff collects information about the quality of public fire protection inmore than 44,000 fire districts across the United States. In each ofthose fire districts, ISO analyzes the relevant data and assigns a PublicProtection Classification — a number from 1 to 10. Class 1 generallyrepresents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicatesthat the area's fire-suppression program does not meet ISO’sminimum criteria.Virtually all U.S. insurers of homes and business property use ISO’sPublic Protection Classifications in calculating premiums. In general,the price of insurance in a community with a good PPC is substantiallylower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factorsare equal.A community’s PPC depends on: fire alarm and communication systems, including telephonesystems, telephone lines, staffing, and dispatching systems!2

the fire department, including equipment, staffing, training, andgeographic distribution of fire companies the water-supply system, including the condition andmaintenance of hydrants, and a careful evaluation of the amountof available water compared with the amount needed tosuppress firesBenefits of the PPC Program for CommunitiesThe PPC program recognizes the efforts of communities to providefire-protection services for citizens and property owners. Acommunity’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliablepredicator of future fire losses. So insurance companies use PPCinformation to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance —generally offering lower premiums in communities with betterprotection. By offering economic benefits for communities that investin their firefighting services, the program provides a real incentive forimproving and maintaining public fire protection.The program also provides help for fire departments and other publicofficials as they plan for, budget, and justify improvements.But the most significant benefit of the PPC program is its effect onlosses. Statistical data on insurance losses bears out the relationshipbetween excellent fire protection — as measured by the PPC program— and low fire losses. By helping communities prepare to fight fireseffectively, ISO’s PPC program saves lives.The PPC Evaluation ProcessTo determine a community’s Public Protection Classification (PPC ),ISO conducts a field survey. Expert ISO staff visit the community toobserve and evaluate features of the fire-protection systems. Using amanual called the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS), ISOobjectively evaluates three major areas: fire alarm and communications systemsA review of the fire alarm system accounts for 10% of the totalclassification. The review focuses on the community’s facilities andsupport for handling and dispatching fire alarms.!3

fire departmentA review of the fire department accounts for 50% of the totalclassification. ISO focuses on a fire department's first-alarmresponse and initial attack to minimize potential loss. Here, ISOreviews such items as engine companies, ladder or servicecompanies, distribution of fire stations and fire companies,equipment carried on apparatus, pumping capacity, reserveapparatus, department personnel, and training. water supplyA review of the water-supply system accounts for 40% of the totalclassification. ISO reviews the water supply a community uses todetermine the adequacy for fire-suppression purposes. We alsoconsider hydrant size, type, and installation, as well as theinspection frequency and condition of fire hydrants.After completing the field survey, ISO analyzes the data and calculatesa PPC. The grading then undergoes a quality review. The communitywill receive a notification letter identifying the new PPC. ISO alsoprovides a hydrant-flow summary sheet, along with the classificationdetails and improvement statements. The classification detailssummarize each subcategory and indicate the total points thecommunity earned. The improvement statements indicate theperformance needed to receive full credit for the specific item in theSchedule, as well as the quantity actually provided.!!4

!The Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) is a manual containingthe criteria ISO uses in reviewing the firefighting capabilities ofindividual communities. The schedule measures the major elements ofa community’s fire-suppression system and develops a numericalgrading called a Public Protection Classification (PPC ).FSRS/Fire Suppression Rating Schedule OverviewThe FSRS incorporates nationally accepted standards developed bysuch organizations as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)and the American Water Works Association (AWWA). When thoseorganizations update their standards, the ISO evaluation changes aswell. So, the PPC program always provides a useful benchmark thathelps fire departments and other public officials measure theeffectiveness of their efforts — and plan for improvements.How the FSRS worksThe FSRS lists a large number of items (facilities and practices) acommunity should have to fight fires effectively. The Schedule assigns!5

credit points for each item. Using those credit points and variousformulas, ISO calculates a total score on a scale of 0 to 100.To receive certain PPC ratings, a community must meet minimumcriteria. After a community meets those criteria, the PPC ratingdepends on the community’s score on the 100-point scale. For moreinformation, see: Minimum facilities and practices to get a PPC rating Minimum criteria for Class 9 Minimum criteria for Class 8B Minimum criteria for Class 8 or better Scores and PPC ratingsThe FSRS considers three main areas of a community’s fire-protectionprogram:Fire alarmsTen percent of a community’s overall score is based on how well thefire department receives and dispatches fire alarms. Our fieldrepresentatives evaluate: the communications center, including the number of operators atthe center the telephone service, including the number of telephone linescoming into the center the listing of emergency numbers in the telephone book the dispatch circuits and how the center notifies firefighters aboutthe location of the emergencyFire departmentFifty percent of the overall score is based on the fire department. ISOreviews the distribution of fire companies throughout the area andchecks that the fire department tests its pumps regularly andinventories each engine company's nozzles, hoses, breathingapparatus, and other equipment. ISO also reviews the fire-companyrecords to determine things 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!6

Water supplyForty percent of the overall score is based on the community’s watersupply. This part of the survey focuses on whether the community hassufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximumconsumption. ISO surveys all components of the water-supply system,including pumps, storage, and filtration. We observe fire-flow tests atrepresentative locations in the community to determine the rate offlow the water mains provide. We also review the condition andmaintenance of fire hydrants. Last, we count the distribution of firehydrants no more than 1,000 feet from the representative locations.Minimum Facilities and Practices to Get a PPC RatingBefore a community can receive an ISO Public Protection Classification(PPC ), the community must have at least these minimum facilitiesand practices:OrganizationThe community must have a fire department organized permanentlyunder applicable state or local laws. The organization must include oneperson responsible for the operation of the department, usually withthe title of "chief."The fire department must serve an area with definite boundaries. If acommunity does not have a fire department operated solely by or forthe governing body of that community, the fire department providingsuch service must do so under legal contract or resolution. When a firedepartment's service area involves more than one community, each ofthe communities served should have a contract.MembershipThe department must have sufficient membership to assure theresponse of at least four members to structure fires. The chief may beone of the responding members.TrainingThe fire department must conduct training for active members, at leasttwo hours every two months.Alarm notificationAlarm facilities and arrangements must be such that there is no delayin the receipt of alarms and the dispatch of firefighters and apparatus.!7

ApparatusThe department must have at least one piece of apparatus meeting thegeneral criteria of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard1901, Automotive Fire Apparatus.HousingThe department must house apparatus to provide protection from theweather.If the community does not meet these minimum criteria, ISO willassign the community a Class 10.Minimum Criteria for Class 9To receive a Public Protection Classification (PPC ) of Class 9, acommunity must first have the minimum facilities and practicesneeded to get a PPC rating. The community must have at least onepiece of apparatus with a pump capacity of 50 gpm at 150 psi and atleast a 300-gallon water tank. The community must also earn a scoreof at least 70 credit points on the following items from the FireSuppression Rating Schedule (FSRS):RecordsRecords must indicate the date, time, and location offires; the number of responding members; the number10 pointsof training sessions; and maintenance of apparatus andproratedequipment. Each community must also keep an up-todate roster of fire department members.EquipmentThe community must also provide the following equipment:At least two 150-foot lengths of 3/4-inch or 1-inch firedepartment booster hose and a 1-1/2-inchpreconnected hose, or the equivalent, each with anozzle capable of discharging either a spray or straightstream.15 pointseachTwo portable fire extinguishers suitable for use onClass A, B, and C fires. The minimum size should be4 points20-BC rating in dry chemical, 10-BC rating in CO2, and2A rating in water-type extinguishers.!8

One 12-foot ladder with folding hooks10 pointsOne 24-foot extension ladder15 pointsOne pick-head axe1 pointTwo electric hand lights4 pointsOne pike pole2 pointsOne bolt cutter2 pointsOne claw tool1 pointOne crowbar1 pointISO will reduce the total score by 2 points for each 10% that theapparatus exceeds the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating.Note: Apparatus weighing more than the street or bridge loadingmaximums may cause a reduction in the credit for response area.All the criteria, specifications, and tools listed above are important inestablishing Class 9 protection. However, the specific size andnomenclature of each individual subitem may be subject to localconditions in the graded community. ISO may credit equipment havingother names, or different dimensions, than indicated in the apparatusspecifications.Minimum Criteria for Class 8BClass 8B is a Public Protection Classification (PPC ) for communitiesthat provide superior fire-protection services and fire alarm facilitiesbut lack the water supply required for a PPC of Class 8 or better.To compensate for limited water supplies, many communities haveimproved their firefighting equipment, training, and managementtechniques, as well as their fire alarm systems. Class 8B will recognizethose improvements.How it worksTo be eligible for Class 8B, a community must meet the fundamental!9

requirements for a classification better than Class 9. The communitymust have: an adequate number of well-organized and properly trainedfirefighters reliable fire alarm facilities adequate fire station facilities operational recordsHowever, the community does not need to meet the water-supplyrequirement of 250 gpm for two hours necessary for PPC Class 8 orbetter.Minimum Criteria for Class 8 or BetterTo receive a Public Protection Classification (PPC ) of Class 8 or better,a community must first have the minimum facilities and practicesneeded to get a PPC rating and must earn a score of at least 20 pointswhen evaluated according to the criteria in the Fire Suppression RatingSchedule. In addition, the community must have these additionalminimum facilities: There must be a minimum water supply of 250 gpm for a two-hourduration for fire protection in the area.If the fire department delivers the 250 gpm through tanker shuttle,large-diameter hose, or other alternative water supply, the watermust be available within five minutes of the arrival of the first-dueapparatus, and the department must maintain the flow, withoutinterruption, for the two-hour duration. The fire department must have at least one piece of suitablyequipped apparatus with a pump of at least 250-gpm capacity ratedat 150 psi.Scores and PPC RatingsThe Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) lists a large number ofitems a community should have to fight fires effectively. The Scheduleassigns credit points for each item. Using those credit points and!10

various formulas, ISO calculates a total score on a scale of 0 to 100.For information on the relationship between credit points and scoreson the 100-point scale, see ISO’s relative-value tables.To receive certain Public Protection Classification (PPC ) ratings, acommunity must meet minimum criteria: Minimum facilities and practices to get a PPC rating Minimum criteria for Class 9 Minimum criteria for Class 8B Minimum criteria for Class 8 or betterAfter a community meets those criteria, the PPC depends on thecommunity’s score on the 100-point scale:PPCPoints190.00 ormore280.00 to89.99370.00 to79.99460.00 to69.99550.00 to59.99640.00 to49.99730.00 to39.99820.00 to29.99910.00 to19.99100.00 to 9.99!11

Items Considered in the FSRSThe Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) measures the majorelements of a community’s fire-suppression system and develops anumerical grading called a Public Protection Classification (PPC ).Here's an outline of the items considered in the FSRS and thepercentage weighting of each item in the calculation that leads to aPPC rating.Receiving and handling of fire alarmsReceipt of fire alarms by commercial telephone — ISOcompares the number of telephone lines provided withthe number of telephone lines needed for emergencyand business calls. The number of needed linesdepends on the population served by thecommunication center. ISO also evaluates telephonedirectory listings.2%Operators — ISO compares the number of fire alarmoperators provided with the number of operatorsneeded. The number of needed operators depends onwhether the community is meeting its performancestandards with existing operators for receiving anddispatching alarms. Alternatively, if performance datais unavailable, the number of needed operators isbased upon the number of alarms received.3%Alarm dispatch circuits — All fire departments (exceptfor single-station departments with full-time personnelreceiving alarms directly at the station) need adequatemeans of notifying personnel of fire locations. ISOevaluates the type and arrangement of those facilities.5%Receiving and handling of fire alarms total: 10%Fire department!12

Pumpers — ISO compares the number of in-servicepumpers and the equipment carried with the number ofneeded pumpers and the equipment identified in theFSRS (or equivalency list). The number of neededpumpers depends on the Basic Fire Flow, the size ofthe area served, and the method of operation.10%Reserve pumpers — ISO evaluates the adequacy of thepumpers and their components with one (or more inlarger communities) pumper out of service.1%Pump capacity — ISO compares the pump capacity ofthe in-service and reserve pumpers (and pumps onother apparatus) with the Basic Fire Flow. ISOconsiders a maximum Basic Fire Flow of 3,500 gpm.5%Ladder/service — Communities use ladders, tools, andequipment normally carried on ladder trucks for ladderoperations, as well as for forcible entry, utility shut-off,ventilation, salvage, overhaul, and lighting. Thenumber and type of apparatus depend on the height ofthe buildings, needed fire flow, and the size of the areaserved.5%Reserve ladder and/or service — ISO compares theadequacy of ladder and service apparatus when one (ormore in larger communities) apparatus is out ofservice.1%Distribution of companies — ISO credits the percentageof the community within specified response distancesof pumpers (1-1/2 miles) and ladder/service apparatus(2-1/2 miles).4%Company personnel — ISO credits the personnelavailable for first alarms of fire. For personnel notnormally in the fire station (for example, volunteers),ISO reduces the value of the responding members toreflect the delay due to decision, communication, orassembly. ISO then applies an upper limit for the creditfor manning, as it is impractical for a very largenumber of personnel to operate a piece of apparatus.15%!13

Training — Trained personnel are vital to a competentfire-suppression force. ISO evaluates training facilitiesand their productivity; training at fire stations; trainingof fire officers, drivers, and recruits; and buildingfamiliarization and prefire planning inspections.9%Fire department total: 50%Water supplyAdequacy of water supply — ISO compares theavailable water supply at representative communitylocations with the needed fire flows for those locations.The supply works, the water main capacity, or firehydrant distribution may limit the available supply.35%Hydrants: size, type, and installation — ISO evaluatesthe design capacity of fire hydrants.2%Hydrants: inspection and condition — ISO evaluatesthe frequency of fire hydrant inspection, thecompleteness of the inspections, and the condition ofthe hydrants.3%Water supply total: 40%DivergenceDivergence — An inadequate water supply may limitthe ability of even the best fire department to suppressfires. Similarly, an inadequate fire department may notbe able to make effective use of an abundant watersupply. So, if the quality of the fire department and thewater supply are different, ISO adjusts the total scoredownward to reflect the limiting effect of the lessadequate item on the better one.Survey total: 100%!14

Benefits of the PPC Program for Communities The PPC program recognizes the efforts of communities to provide fire-protection services for citizens and property owners. A community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predicator of future fir