The North Charleston Fire Department has been awarded a Class 1 rating by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), an organization that independently evaluates municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States.  The Class 1 rating is the highest possible rating that can be given to any fire department.  Out of 46,200 departments nationwide, only 260 are rated Class 1.

Insurance companies use ISO information, combined with other factors, to establish local business and residential property insurance rates – generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection.

Residents and business owners may contact their insurance provider to find out how they may benefit by the North Charleston Fire Department’s Class 1 rating.

To determine a fire department’s rating, ISO evaluates the emergency communications system, the water supply system, and the fire department’s equipment, staffing, training, and geographic deployment of fire companies.  Additionally, ISO evaluates the fire department’s efforts to reduce the risk of fire through the enforcement of the fire code, fire investigation and through public fire safety education.  The program provides an objective nationwide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment, and training.  By offering economic benefits for communities that invest in their firefighting services, the program provides an incentive for improving and maintaining public fire protection.

The rating was announced by ISO National Director Thomas Weber at the North Charleston City Council Meeting on Thursday, April 27th.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey stated, “Fire service is one city service that our residents hope to never have to utilize, but when it is needed, it must be the best.  Receiving the best ISO rating validates our investment into our fire personnel, our apparatus and equipment, and our focus on fire prevention through education and inspections.  The rating means the potential for lower insurance premiums for our residents and businesses, and makes us even more competitive to attract jobs and capital investment to our city.”

“This superior rating is the direct result of the tremendous support of public safety by Mayor Summey and North Charleston City Council, as well as the network of partnerships with other agencies and the hard work of the men and women of the North Charleston Fire Department,” said Fire Chief Greg Bulanow.