ISO (Insurance Services Office) recently announced that the City of North Olmsted’s fire insurance rating has improved. A fire score, or Public Protection Classification, is a score from 1 to 10 that indicates how well-protected a community is by its fire department, where a lower number is better. North Olmsted improved to Class 3 from a previous rating of Class 4.
How does this rating benefit North Olmsted residents? According to Mayor Kevin Kennedy, the score indicates that the North Olmsted Fire Department is well-equipped to tackle fires in the community, which speaks not just to safety, but also to residents’ bottom line. “It goes to risk,” said Kennedy. “If homes and businesses are less likely to burn down in the case of a fire, they are less risky to insure. That means that property owners can benefit from reduced insurance premiums.”
Four main criteria factor into a fire rating score including quality of the local fire department based on staffing levels, training and proximity of fire stations; availability of water supply, including fire hydrants, and how much water is available for putting out fires; quality of the city’s emergency communications systems and community outreach, including fire prevention and safety courses.
Fire Chief Ed Schepp credits the improved rating on his team’s attention to detail. “Much of what we do here on a daily basis requires proper documentation. We improved our documentation procedures to better reflect the areas of concern in the ISO survey. Additionally we examined the functions and operations of the Fire Prevention Bureau.”
Outreach was another area of focus. “We adjusted the approach to how we interact with the community with an approach centered on community risk reduction,” said Schepp.
A rating of 5 is the median and most common rating fire departments received. A Class 3 rating puts North Olmsted in the top 13% of fire departments in the nation.
“We are pleased with the lower rating and will continue to strive to always provide a first-class fire protection service for our community,” said Schepp.