The official word from the state Fire Marshal’s Office has arrived at the office of Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame, ranking Prosper as one of less than 70 of the state’s more than 3,000 communities with fire departments to attain a Class 1/1X ISO rating.
The new rating will take effect on Aug. 1 of this year, with officials from the state’s Fire Marshal delivering the official document to the Town Council this summer. The rating means that most homes and businesses will likely benefit from a preferred rate on homeowner insurance rates.
There are differences in how insurance companies approach the ISO classification, though. Some insurance companies offer immediate rebates once the change in classification is made official, whereas others will wait to adjust premiums at the next renewal period.
Under the ISO (Insurance Services Office) program, called the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, communities can score between 1 and 10, with Class 1 being the most exemplary and Class 10 being the least. To come up with the new rating, the ISO evaluated the Town in three areas:
Fifty percent of the score took into account Prosper’s Fire Department, including staffing, training, the geographic distribution of firehouses and adequacy of the fire equipment;
Forty percent of the score looked at the community’s water supply, including the placement and condition of fire hydrants and the amount of water that’s available to put out fires; and
Ten percent of the score measured the efficiency of emergency communications, such as the 911 system and the number of emergency dispatchers.
A split of Class 1/1X means that those properties located within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant or water supply suction point and within five miles of a fire station will be designated as Class 1; while properties located farther than 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant or water supply suction point and within five miles of a fire station will be designated as Class 1X. A slight difference in rates exists between the affected properties in the split.
Officially, the classification is conferred to fire departments. In the state of Texas, only 67 departments out of more than 3,000 and only about 300 in the nation out of 400,000 departments have been conferred the Class 1/1X rating.
“The department is very proud of this accomplishment,” said Blasingame. “We are, of course, elated that homeowners and businesses will benefit from this. At the same time, we are very gratified that our hard work has resulted in this honor. It’s a testament to our entire community, our leadership on the Council, our staff working together, and the ultimate support of our residents.”