ISO's PPC program accurately measures the quality of public fire protection in 45,000 fire districts across the country
Better fire protection — as measured by the PPC program — leads to lower losses.
The PPC program provides an incentive for communities to improve the quality of their fire protection — and communities respond to that incentive.
When a fire district improves its PPC, the entire community can benefit economically.
ISO's outreach efforts help communities quickly realize the economic benefits of improved public protection.
When a community improves its fire protection, everyone benefits.
ISO is an independent organization that serves insurance companies, fire departments, insurance regulators, and others by providing information about risk. ISO's expert staff collects information about municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the relevant data and assigns a Public Protection Classification — a number from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents exemplary fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire-suppression program does not meet ISO's minimum criteria.
Every year, ISO employees visit thousands of fire districts to review firefighting capabilities and evaluate the adequacy of water systems. Because insurance companies pay all the PPC program's administrative costs, ISO provides the service free of charge to the communities.
Virtually all U.S. insurers of homes and business property use ISO's Public Protection Classification in calculating premiums. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good PPC is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal.
A Community's PPC depends on:
- fire alarm and communications systems, including telephone systems, telephone lines, staffing, and dispatching systems
- the fire department, including equipment, staffing, training, and geographic distribution of fire companies
- the water supply system, including condition and maintenance of hydrants, and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires
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. So, the PPC program provides a useful benchmark that helps fire departments and other public officials measure the effectiveness of their efforts — and plan for improvements.
Next section: Better fire protection — as measured by the PPC program — leads to lower losses.