City Manager's Updates

Monthly updates from El Cerrito City Manager Karen Pinkos.

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Sep 02

Insurance Service Organization Analysis of El Cerrito/Kensington Fire Suppression Service Area

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM by Suzanne Iarla

ISO is an insurance industry group which collects and evaluates information from communities in the United States on their structural fire suppression capabilities. The data is analyzed using ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) and then a Public Protection Classification (PPC) number is assigned. The rating schedule rates from 1-10, a Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program and a Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria.

ISO’s PPC plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. In fact, most US insurers use the PPC information as part of their decision making when deciding what businesses they will write coverages for and the prices to charge for personal or commercial property insurance.

ISO’s PPC program evaluates communities according to a uniform set of criteria, incorporating nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Water Works Association. A communities PPC depends on: 
  • Needed Fire Flow, which are representative building locations used to determine the theoretical amount of water necessary for fire suppression purposes.
  • Emergency Communications, including emergency reporting, telecommunicators, and dispatching systems.
  • Fire Department, including equipment, staffing, training, geographic distribution of fire companies, operational considerations, and community risk reduction.
  • Water Supply, including inspection and flow testing of hydrants, alternative water supply operations, and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires up to 3,500 gpm.

We are happy to report that the PPC for the El Cerrito/Kensington Fire Protection Service Area improved from a 3 to a 2 during this most recent review. We attribute this improvement to our continued focus on training, communications, water supply and staffing. It gives us great pleasure to report that our Fire Department is one of only 62 Class 2 Departments in the State, which has a total of 988 Fire Departments.