Fall 2017
Welcome to Community Fire Protection News...

Welcome to Community Fire Protection News, our online newsletter for the fire service, insurers, building officials, water professionals, and emergency responders. We provide concise and topical community mitigation and insurance news and more.

In this issue, we focus on the importance of benchmarking data and how it can help community mitigation. First, one of our experts talks about how mitigating the effects of natural disasters like Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey before they happen is key to community planning throughout the United States. Then, we describe the three essential factors which make sure that data you rely on can help a fire department make accurate comparisons, as well as how ISO reviews and establishes more than 100 data points for use in the grading schedule. Next, we discuss how ISO collects, maintains, and analyzes a vast amount of water system data. We present an interview with Stuart McElhaney of ESCI who talks about how benchmarking helps community mitigation. Finally, “you make the call” to tell us what you think about residential home inspections.

This issue includes many industry updates and insights. We hope you’ll find our latest information useful in your own efforts to keep people and property safe against fire and other catastrophes.


Robert L. Andrews
Vice President and Chief Field Operations Officer
Verisk Insurance Solutions

Hurricane PreparationAccording to a Moody’s Analytics article this past September, the total cost of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could reach $200 billion. In addition, the economy could suffer another $20 billion to $30 billion in lost output. Moody’s previously estimated the total cost of Harvey between $86 and $108 billion and Irma between $64 and $92 billion.

What happens when your data stinksIn today’s world, we’re all consumers of data. We look at data in our everyday life to find out how different items compare to one another, and we don’t have to search very far to get inundated with information. We compare one car to another, one brand of vitamins to another, one cereal to its competitor—and so forth.

ISO Logo tnHow do you demonstrate to the people and community you serve that you’re doing a good job? Do you have a clear, definitive method to show you provide quality service with the resources you have? What data points are appropriate for a true peer review and accurate comparison of your service delivery?

Fire HydrantWhile driving around a typical tree-lined residential neighborhood, have you ever wondered how much water is needed to protect that area from fire? Did you know that greater emphasis is often placed on the rate of flow for commercial and mixed-use areas, even though residential areas generally occupy more space and have greater population density? Do you ever consider how the distance between hydrants could cause a delay in fire department operations?

California-SealBenchmarking a fire department against its peers is an essential tool in measuring that department’s ability to deliver services to the community. The analysis can help inform strategic planning, budget requests, staffing decisions, equipment purchases, training needs, and more. However, many communities aren’t equipped to make these analyses on their own, because they consume valuable time and limited resources.

you make the callThe Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a fire department as “an organization for preventing or extinguishing fires.” Fire prevention has always been part of a fire department’s responsibilities. But for many years, it seemed like the pendulum was frozen at the extreme end of the extinguishment side, taking up most of the time, money, and energy.