What does ISO stand for?

ISO stands for Insurance Service Office.

What is ISO?

ISO is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire departments, insurance regulators, and others by providing information about risk. ISO’s staff collects and evaluates information from over 48,000 fire protection communities across the United States. ISO grades three elements of fire suppression; communications-receiving and handling fire alarms, water supply, and the fire department itself. ISO analyzes the relevant information using a numbering grading system and then assigns a Public Protection Classification (PPC) as a number from one to ten. Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program and a Class 10 indicates no fire protection or that the areas fire department does not meet ISO minimum criteria. The PPC program is for small to average size buildings with a needed fire flow of fewer than 3,500 gallons per minute (gpm). Flow in excess of this amount is evaluated separately and assigned an individual classification.

What is Walker County’s ISO rating?

In the fall of 2012, Walker County Emergency Services was evaluated by ISO and was given a score of 72.78. Then ISO assigned a number indicating the community protection class of a 3/3Y an improvement from the previous rating of 4/4X).

How does Walker County rate among other counties in Georgia?




















What does this classification mean?

The first number in the rating (i.e. 3 of 3/3Y) applies to properties within five (5) road miles of a recognized fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant or alternate water supply. The second number part of the rating (i.e. 3Y of 3/3Y) is a special classification that recognizes a superior level of fire protection in otherwise class nine areas. It is designed to represent a fire protection delivery system that is superior except for a lack of a water supply system of the minimum FSRS fire flow criteria of 250 gpm for two hours. Class 10 applies to properties over five (5) road miles of a recognized fire station. Specific properties with a Needed Fire Flow (NFF) in excess of 3,500 gpm are evaluated separately and assigned an individual classification.

How does a lower ISO rating effect my Home Owner’s Insurance cost?

Based on a wood-frame construction home valued at $150,000, a Class 10 rating would yield an average insurance premium of $2,416 where a Class 3 rating premium would only be $1,041 – a savings of $1,375.

Using this same home, a Class 3X
rating would yield an annual premium of $1,903 while a Class 3Y would drop the premium to $1,474 – an annual savings of $429.

Using an example of a brick home in north Walker County with an approximate value of $150,000, a Class 3X rating would have a premium of $1,667 while the Class 3Y premium would drop to $1,298 – a savings of $369.

What is the cost of installing a hydrant for WCES?

It cost approximately $3,500 to purchase and install one hydrant. To install 1,100 hydrants the total cost is approximately $3,850,000. In order to install hydrants where they are needed throughout the county, it would take approximately 3,174 more with a cost of more than $11,000,000. We are working to install additional hydrants as funds become available. Most of the hydrants have been paid for by the SPLOST tax and fire codes enforcement.

*Please keep in mind that some areas of Walker County still have no water mains on which to supply a hydrant. This is the main reason we pushed so hard to achieve the additional class 3Y rating.