The North Carolina Department of Insurance, Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) inspects communities on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS). The purpose of the inspection is to determine the Public Protection Classification (PPC) for the fire protection services protecting the community. The Public Protection Classification is used to gauge the ability of a local fire department to respond to fires. A Community's fire protection information is collected and analyzed by NC OSFM. A classification of 1 to 10 is then assigned based upon the results of the survey. A rating of 1 indicates the highest level of fire protection and a rating of 10 is an indication of no fire protection or that a property is located more than 6 road miles from a fire station. The rating of a community has a direct effect on the insurance premiums that an individual pay on their homes and commercial buildings. The Public Protection Classification is used by the Insurance industry in determining insurance premiums for many properties within the community.
Three areas are examined when the NC OSFM conducts their inspection, the community's water supply, dispatch (communications) center and the fire department. Among other things, the inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, and proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source. They also look at the records of drills, training and meetings attended by firefighters. Each area receives a rating, and are combined to determine the final Public Protection Classification.
When surveying a community the OSFM considers the department’s fire district has a whole. They inspect the district and determine an overall PPC for the community. The community is divided in to three zones. The first zone includes properties located within five road miles of a fire station, the possible ratings range from class 1 to 10. The second zone include properties located between five and six road miles of a fire station, possible ratings range from 9E to 10. The third zone includes properties located more than six road miles from a station, the only rating given for properties in his zone is a class 10.
In August of 2018, UHFD completed the routine inspection and thanks to federal grants to help purchase new equipment, additional personnel, improvement to equipment, as well as other critical areas we were able to improve our rating from a 6/9 to a 5/9E which will become effective December 1, 2018. CLICK HERE to see photos during part of the testing portion.
For additional information on the Fire Insurance Rating System click here.