sprinkler head lgIn the Insurers’ Report column, we discuss some common questions we receive from insurers. If you have a question you’d like answered, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep your eye on future issues for your question (and our answer).

If SLICE-RS is reshaping how firefighters attack fires, what are the implications for ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS)? In other words, will new firefighting tactics affect how ISO rates firefighting departments moving forward?

Before we answer the question, a little background: SLICE-RS is an acronym that outlines the latest firefighting tactics. It stands for Size-up, Locate the fire, Isolate the flow path, Cool from a safe distance, Extinguish, Rescue and Salvage at any time in the process. It updates a previous acronym used by firefighting departments: RECEO-VS, which stands for Rescue, Exposure, Confine, Extinguish, Overhaul and Ventilate, Salvage. Both methods are the result of exhaustive study in the firefighting field.

The FSRS considers three main areas of a community’s fire suppression system: emergency communications, fire department, and water supply. In addition, it includes a Community Risk Reduction section that recognizes community efforts to reduce losses through fire prevention, public fire safety education, and fire investigation.

Does the change in tactics lead to a change in rating? The short answer: Time will tell. It may take some time to realize the potential effect that SLICE-RS may have on ISO’s rating and the insurance industry in general. But it’s hard to imagine that a widely accepted shift in tactics would create a negative effect in how ISO rates the fire departments that elect to deploy those tactics.

In fact, the only change may be positive. The new SLICE-RS strategy calls for a quicker application of water, which may result in a reduction in loss from fire.

Please mail your request on fire department, building department, or chief administrative officials' letterhead to your ISO National Processing Center. Use the map to find the center that serves your state:

Community Hazard Mitigation Division
1000 Bishops Gate Blvd, Suite 300
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
Telephone: 1-800-444-4554, option 2
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Community Hazard Mitigation Division
8911 N. Capitol of Texas
Westech 360 Bldg. II, Suite 2110
Austin, TX 78759
Telephone: 1-800-444-4554, option 2
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For information on community mitigation programs in the independent-bureau states, please contact:

Hawaii Insurance Bureau, Inc.
715 South King Street, Suite 320
Honolulu, HI 96813-4118

Idaho Surveying and Rating Bureau, Inc.
5440 Franklin Road, Suite 101
P.O. Box 6430
Boise, ID 83707

Property Insurance Association of Louisiana
433 Metairie Road, Suite 400
Metairie, LA 70005

Mississippi State Rating Bureau
2685 Insurance Center Drive
Jackson, MS 39216-5231
P.O. Box 5231
Jackson, MS 39296-5231

North Carolina Department of Insurance
Office of the State Fire Marshal
1202 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1202

Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau
200 1st Avenue W, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98119-4219

To receive a Public Protection Classification (PPC™) of Class 8 or better, a community must first have the minimum facilities and practices needed for a PPC rating and must earn a score of at least 20 points when evaluated according to the criteria in the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). The community must also have these additional minimum facilities:

  • There must be a minimum water supply of 250 gpm for a 2-hour duration for fire protection in the area.

    If the fire department delivers the 250 gpm through tanker shuttle, large-diameter hose, or other alternative water supply, the water must be available within 5 minutes of the arrival of the first-due engine, and the department must maintain the flow, without interruption, for the 2-hour duration.

  • The fire department must have one suitably equipped engine that responds to all first alarm structural fires. Pump capacity must be at least 750 gpm at 150 psi. The engine must have a water tank in accordance with the general criteria of NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, “pumper Fire Apparatus.”

ISO is a leading source of information about property/casualty insurance risk. For a broad spectrum of commercial and personal lines of insurance, we provide statistical, actuarial, underwriting, and claims data; policy language; information about specific locations; fraud-identification tools; consulting services; and information for marketing, loss control, and premium audit.

ISO is an advisory organization, and insurers may use our information, modify it, or not use it, as they see fit.

ISO is a member of the Verisk Analytics Family of Companies.

ISO collects information useful in many aspects of insurance underwriting. That information includes evaluations of public fire protection, flood risk, and the adoption and enforcement of building codes in individual communities. Information on municipal services helps the communities with their efforts to manage and mitigate their risk.

We perform the evaluations as a service to the insurance industry and do not charge a fee to the communities.

Through the Public Protection Classification (PPC™) program, ISO evaluates municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. A community's investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. So insurance companies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance — generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection. Many communities use the PPC as a benchmark for measuring the effectiveness of their fire-protection services. The PPC program is also a tool that helps communities plan for, budget, and justify improvements.

Through the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) program, ISO assesses the building codes in effect in individual communities and how those communities enforce their building codes. The assessments place special emphasis on mitigation of losses from natural hazards. The concept is simple: municipalities with well-enforced, up-to-date codes should demonstrate better loss experience, and insurance rates can reflect that. The prospect of lessening catastrophe-related damage and ultimately lowering insurance costs provides an incentive for communities to enforce their building codes rigorously — especially as they relate to windstorm and earthquake damage.

ISO also evaluates sprinklered and nonsprinklered commercial buildings and residential properties and supplies important underwriting and rating information for insurers.

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Working Together

ISO Community Hazard Mitigation actively works with fire departments, building departments, water suppliers, and municipalities with our Public Protection Classification (PPC™), Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®), water outreach, and emergency communication center review programs. With your participation and cooperation, we will attain our ultimate goal: safer communities.

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Fire Suppression Rating Schedule

ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS), evaluates four primary categories of fire suppression — fire department, emergency communications, water supply, and community risk reduction. The FSRS includes standards set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Click here to see the standards and registration instructions. Learn more about the FSRS and obtain the latest edition.

Chief Thomas Weber

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Chief Thomas Weber

National Director, ISO Community Hazard Mitigation

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National Water Resources manager, ISO Community Hazard Mitigation

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Joseph Fratantaro

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Joseph Fratantaro

Manager, ISO Community Hazard Mitigation

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Dale Thomure

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Dale Thomure

Manager, Community Hazard Mitigation (BCEGS)

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