Understanding Fire Protection
One of the tools that homeowner insurance companies use to determine the cost of coverage is your fire protection class. Fire protection classes range from 1-10. An independent company rates City and County Fire Stations. This company is ISO or Insurance Services Office.
Some of the factors that are used when ISO rates a City or County Fire Station are:
- number of fire trucks
- amount of water the fire trucks can carry to the scene of the fire
- amount of water the fire trucks can pump per minute
- number of firefighters that are employed by the City or State
Basically, ISO is looking at the response time, and how much man power and equipment is available to put out the fire upon arrival.
The fire protection class is assigned to your home based on your responding fire department and its fire class. The class is determined by the responding fire department that will respond in the event of a fire. If you are inside city limits, you are assigned a protection class based upon the city's protection class.
If you are not inside the city limits, then your protection class is based upon the county protection class. If you are in the county, there are two factors that can impact for fire protection class: these two factors are the number of miles your home is located in proximity to a fire station and the number of feet that your home is located in proximity to a fire hydrant. In order to qualify for the fire protection class of the closest responding county fire department, your home must be located within 5 miles of the station and within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant. 1000 feet is the approximate length of 3 football fields. If you meet these two criteria, then you will be assigned a protection class 1-8 based upon the rating of the county fire station.
If your home is not within 5 miles of a responding fire department then your home is assigned a protection class 10. If your home is within 5 miles of a responding fire department but there is no hydrant within 1000 feet then your is assigned a protection class 9 or 10.