Carolina Beach And Kure Beach Lower Their ISO Fire Ratings

The Carolina Beach Fire Department joined with numerous other departments from North and South Carolina to conduct a live burn of a large house on Cape Fear Blvd on December 7th.  Recently the Town's ISO rating was lowered from a 3 to 2 rating. The Carolina Beach Fire Department joined with numerous other departments from North and South Carolina to conduct a live burn of a large house on Cape Fear Blvd on December 7th. Recently the Town's ISO rating was lowered from a 3 to 2 rating.

Carolina Beach And Kure Beach Lower Their ISO Fire Ratings Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 26 May 2020 17:11

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

PLEASURE ISLAND - Carolina Beach Fire Chief Alan Griffin informed the Town Council Tuesday May 26th, the department was recently inspected by the North Carolina Department of Insurance for their ISO insurance rating. Upon a successful inspection, the rate decreased from 3 to 2 which is an improvement and can help save some property owners money on their policies.

Griffin explained, "We had our ISO inspection in February. Typically takes several months to get the score back. The North Carolina Rating System does the inspection and then they push it up the pipe to the federal level where they review everything and give approval."

He explained ISO stands for Insurance Service Organization and, "It's basically a rating that sets your fire rating scores and fire premium scores that you pay in your insurance. For a homeowner or commercial business, that score dictates what they pay for your area in insurance premiums."

Griffin said the inspection looks at four areas of service. Inspectors look at staffing levels, training, training transcripts, last ten structure fires and, "They look at how you respond and how much equipment you put there. 50% of your score comes from how you respond as a fire department... then there is a five and a half percent score based off community outreach which is where you do fire prevention programs, fire inspections and investigations."

He explained, "We received a class two with this rating and in 2000 we were at a 5 rating ad went to a 3 in 2008. This year we went from a 3 to 2 rating. You can see how 4, 5, and 6 is your national average even in North Carolina. You can see how hard a class one is to achieve. In North Carolina there are 38 class two's. We are very proud of that score. Our staff worked very hard. Just to give you one example, every member to get max points, so when they look at you, they look at the whole department but then they break it down by each member. Each member to get our max points for training has to have 240 hours. We probably had 50% more of our department that achieved every single of the 240 training hours that year. For volunteers, that's a lot to put that type of training hours in."

Griffin explained, "What you can expect to see... each insurance company uses their own formula and that formula that they use dictates their rates so depending on what insurance provider a homeowner uses, that will decide how much of a cost savings that three to a two rating drop is. What I did see is, typically on a homeowner's side when you start getting into the three, two and one range it's not a huge cost savings for residential but in some cases it can be a larger cost savings for commercial properties."

He said the new rating will take effect in September of this year and, "All of our property owners on the Island should see some type of cost savings and what we will encourage them is, as it gets closer, we will make sure to get some press out on that to remind everybody. But you can follow up in September with your insurance company to make sure they captured that score and see what savings that provided."

Councilman Jay Healy explained, "You guys should be extremely proud. That's a great job."

Griffin said, "Kure Beach got the same ISO rating."

Town Manager Bruce Oakley said, "That stuff doesn't happen by accident, it takes a lot of work and I appreciate you guys sticking to it."

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