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Fennimore’s ISO Rating Improves
The Buzz Around Town- Fennimore Fire Department
Fennimore Firefighters
This past summer, the Fennimore Fire Department completed its most recent Insurance Services Office (ISO) Audit.  This audit process occurs once every five years, and even though many people do not understand what the ISO rating is, it impacts nearly every home or business owner.  We are pleased to announce that our rating improved to a (3), which is a significant accomplishment for a volunteer department in a rural area.  For comparison purposes, the national average ISO rating is a (5).  In fact, out of all 41,267 fire departments in the United States, the Fennimore Fire Department now ranks in the top 13 percent of ALL departments, including full-time career departments.
The following information from (a sub-group of offers an excellent explanation of what the ISO is, and how it is calculated:
“A company called the ISO (Insurance Services Office) creates ratings for fire departments and their surrounding communities. The ratings calculate how well-equipped fire departments are to put out fires in that community. The ISO provides this score, often called the “ISO fire score,” to homeowners’ insurance companies. The insurers then use it to help set homeowners insurance rates. The more well-equipped your fire department is to put out a fire, the less likely your house is to burn down. And that makes your home less risky, and therefore less expensive, to insure.
An ISO fire insurance rating, also referred to as a fire score or Public Protection Classification (PPC), is a score from 1 to 10 that indicates how well-protected your community is by the fire department. In the ISO rating scale, a lower number is better: 1 is the best possible rating, while a 10 means the fire department did not meet the ISO’s minimum requirements.
According to the ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS), there are four main criteria to a fire rating score:
50 percent comes from the quality of your local fire department including staffing levels, training and proximity of the firehouse.
40 percent comes from availability of water supply, including the prevalence of fire hydrants and how much water is available for putting out fires.
10 percent comes from the quality of the area’s emergency communications systems (911).
An extra 5.5 percent comes from community outreach, including fire prevention and safety courses.
Any area that is more than 5 driving miles from the nearest fire station is automatically rated a 10.”
Many, but not all, insurance companies will use this data to assist in determining insurance rates for home and business owners. Again, offers some insight in to the process:
“The formulas homeowners insurance companies use to determine their insurance rates are complex and constantly changing. But, all other things being equal, a lower PPC score for your area will translate to a lower homeowners insurance premium, as it means your home is at a lower risk for serious fire damage. Home insurance companies offer lower rates if you have a good ISO rating because a well-prepared fire department should be able to put out your home’s fire more quickly.”

This accomplishment is not just a reflection of the Fennimore Fire Department, but is more reflective of a community-wide effort. This rating was earned in part by the excellent work done by the City of Fennimore Public Works Department, the Grant County Sheriff’s Department Communications Center, and most importantly the citizens of Fennimore. Without the constant and generous support of our community, our department would never have the opportunity to purchase the necessary equipment or provide the critical training to our firefighters. Earning this rating was very much a team effort and the Fennimore Fire Department deeply appreciates all those that contributed to this process.