Fayette fire protection upgrade may mean lower insurance rates

File photo of Fayette County firetruck.
File photo of Fayette County firetruck.

Insurance premiums in unincorporated Fayette County and the smaller municipalities might be coming down.

Fayette County Clerk Tameca White on Nov. 29 said Fayette County Fire and Emergency Services (FES) has been notified that the Insurance Services Office (ISO) has completed the local department survey and lowered the Public Protection Class (PPC) to a class 3/3Y for unincorporated Fayette County, Tyrone, Brooks and Woolsey.

“This change could mean savings in insurance premiums for property owners. This places Fayette County in the top 10 percent of all communities nationwide as graded by the Insurance Services Office, Inc.,” said White.

The identified areas in Fayette were previously classified as 4/4Y areas, according to Deputy Fire Chief Tom Bartlett, adding that the change to ISO 3/3Y is effective March 1.

ISO surveys fire departments and gauges the fire protection capability of local fire departments to respond to structure fires. The PPC classification scale is from 1–10, with class one providing superior protection and class 10 assigned to areas that do not meet minimum criteria for fire protection, said White.

White said the split classification of 3/3Y reflects more precisely the risk of loss in the community. The “Y” rating is applied to properties with a water supply greater than 1,000 feet from the property while ISO recognizes the ability of the department to supply water in alternative means.

“This rating reduction is welcome news,” said Fire Chief David Scarbrough. “The department members have worked very hard to maintain the rigorous standards required by ISO while seeking additional points in the new areas that ISO now grades. I would urge all property owners in unincorporated Fayette County, Tyrone, Brooks and Woolsey to contact their insurance agents to make sure they understand that the department has received a lower rating classification. Also, we would like to thank the Fayette County 911 Communications Center, Fayette County Water System and our automatic and mutual aid fire department partners for their assistance in providing information for this survey process.”

The ISO survey grades the following three areas.

Operations, training, and deployment which includes fire apparatus, equipment testing, training and the ability of the department to place adequate personnel on the scene of a building fire.

Emergency communications which evaluates the ability of the county to receive the call for assistance, process the information and alert the responding department, along with the department’s ability to receive the alarm with redundant communications capability.

The Fayette County water system which reviews the ability of the system to provide adequate water at the correct volume and pressure while maintaining accurate records of the flows and pressure

For additional information, contact Deputy Chief Tom Bartlett at 770-305-5165.