Fire departments around the country have eagerly awaited the most recent update to the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) developed by the Insurance Services Office. This system classifies communities according to performance in emergency communications, fire response and suppression and water supply, and has provided these ratings to insurers for more than 30 years. Insurance companies purchasing this data use it to develop underwriting practices – so improved ratings can lead to lower insurance premiums for homes and businesses in many instances.
What’s new with this long-awaited revision? First, ISO is referencing many more NFPA codes and standards than in the past. This means that as the NFPA documents are revised, the rating schedule will be revised – a great way to ensure that the ratings keep up with new technology and changing practices. Communities all over the US will also be happy to learn that for the first time, they can earn “extra credit” – up to 5.5 points – for demonstrating fire prevention, education and investigation programs. In other words, the ratings – and thus many insurance companies – will begin to account for fire mitigation programs in a quantifiable and creditable way.
NFPA has developed a resource list of all the codes and standards referenced in ISO’s rating schedule, along with a wealth of resources for fire departments and communities to consider when updating or initiating fire prevention and education programs. Check www.nfpa.org/iso for a list with links to each standard and much more on Firewise®, Learn Not to Burn®, Remembering When® and other fire prevention tools that might give your community a leg up on improving its fire safety ratings.