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DFRD receives improved fire insurance rating

The Demopolis Fire and Rescue has seen an improvement in its fire insurance rating.

The DF&R has earned an Insurance Services Office rating of three, which is down from its previous rating of a four. The ISO rating is determined through a third-party audit of the department’s fire suppression capabilities.

According to DFR Chief Keith Murray, the improved rating puts the department in the top 10 percent of all fire departments across the nation and in the top 6 percent in the state.

“I am very proud of the improved ISO classification,” Murray said. “It is an independent validation of the efforts of our personnel to constantly advance our service level and create a safer community.”

The independent audit took over four months to complete. The inspection evaluates three specific categories critical to fire suppression: communications, water supply, and fire department operations. Numerous facets in each of three categories are measured to determine the final ISO rating. The evaluators systematically examine the capabilities of the dispatch center, the availability of water and the water pressure throughout the city, number of fire personnel, training records, fire apparatus, fire equipment, maintenance records, fire prevention and response times.

ISO data is analyzed using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule and then the Public Protection Classification grade is assigned to the community. ISO is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire departments, insurance regulators, and others by providing information about risk.

According to ISO data, a total of 88 departments in Alabama have earned a rating of three, with only 59 departments receiving a better score of either one or two.

“This favorable review is the result of many personnel who assisted with providing the necessary documentation needed in each of the categories that were evaluated,” Murray said.

The improved ISO Class 3 rating will go into effect on April 1, 2020. Not all insurance companies utilize the ISO classification when calculating insurance premiums; however, many do. Property owners should contact their insurance providers and advise their representative of the new ISO classification.