Scheduling the Survey

ISO relies on several sources of information to help us decide when we should reevaluate your community’s Public Protection Classification (PPC™) grading:

  • ISO Community Outreach Program
    About every two years, ISO sends a Community Outreach Questionnaire and map of the fire protection area to officials in your community. The questionnaire asks about any significant changes in your fire protection capabilities since your last PPC evaluation. On the map, we ask you to indicate changes in protection boundaries, locations of fire stations, and other relevant items.

    ISO can also accept your community information in GIS format in place of paper maps.

    ISO carefully reviews the information your community provides to determine whether a new survey would result in a change to your PPC or the geographic area covered by your PPC. If so, we’ll contact the appropriate officials to schedule a survey.
  • Community officials contacting ISO
    If your community makes changes that might affect your PPC, call ISO at 1-800-444-4554 to request a Community Outreach Questionnaire. We’ll evaluate your changes and, if appropriate, schedule a survey.
  • Miscellaneous information sources
    ISO monitors local newspapers for announcements about issues related to fire protection. We also receive such information from insurance companies, agents, and local citizens. When we learn of changes that might affect your community’s PPC, we contact appropriate senior officials in the community for confirmation and additional information. If warranted, we’ll schedule a survey. Sometimes we learn of problems that could lead to a worse PPC. After discussions with community officials, if it appears that such a problem is a temporary situation, we schedule a follow-up before initiating a survey.

Even if we have no information about changes in your community’s fire protection capabilities, we periodically perform a survey to confirm or update your existing PPC and the geographic area to which it applies.

Information about a community’s public fire protection should reflect current capabilities and geographic area of responsibilities. You should report even minor changes regarding your community or fire protection area to reflect the most current level of protection.  

When ISO initiates a survey, we will contact appropriate officials in your community. To let you make the necessary arrangements, we normally make our request several weeks before the targeted inspection date. And we generally follow up with a phone call to the mayor, city manager, or other appropriate official to finalize the arrangements.

Because your PPC depends on multiple factors, including emergency communications, fire department, water supply, and community risk reduction efforts, we may not evaluate every aspect of fire protection at the same time. We could evaluate a major water project, for example, and apply that information to the grading without completely revisiting each fire department item.

Next: Preparing for the Survey

For more information . . .
. . . on any topic related to the Public Protection Classification (PPC) program or the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, Contact ISO Mitigation, or call the ISO mitigation specialists at 1-800-444-4554.

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» Fire Chiefs
» Government Officials
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Building Code Effectiveness

Building Code Effectiveness
Grading Schedule »

ISO has embarked on a project to review and update the criteria for the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®). We are soliciting your feedback to help us develop modifications and additions. Learn more.