SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD) was awarded a Class One Rating by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), according to a press release by SMFD Captain Patrick Nulty on Friday, August 11.

The Santa Monica Fire Department is 1 of only 241 departments to receive the rating, out of 27,198 fire departments in the nation, according to the press release. The ISO, a nationwide rating service, is utilized by insurance companies to establish local business and residential property insurance rates. The service assesses municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States, using the Public Protection Classification (PPC) Program.

Data is collected and analyzed according to a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS), and a PPC score between 1 and 10 is assigned to each department, with Class One indicating superior property fire protection and Class Ten indicating that a community doesn’t satisfy minimum criteria. The Class One rating is the highest possible rating that can be given to any fire department across the nation.

The program provides an objective, countrywide standard that assists fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment, and training. The process involves a periodic, detailed analysis of fire department operations, the city’s water system, and the emergency 911 communications system. Recent evaluations revealed the SMFD received 93.2 out of 105.1 possible points, the highest the department ever received.

Insurance companies use the ISO information to establish fair premiums for fire insurance, generally offering lower premiums in communities with superior protection. By offering economic benefits, the PPC program provides incentives to communities for improving and maintaining public fire protection.

There are other factors insurance companies analyze to establish the premiums they charge to policy holders. Residents and business owners may contact their insurance providers to ensure they benefit from the SMFD’s Class One rating.