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, e-mail us. 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 your Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS)? In other words, will new firefighting tactics affect how you rate 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 our 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 we rate 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.