Water resources are vital to a community's health. We work with water companies and municipal water supply agencies nationwide to evaluate the adequacy of water infrastructures for fire suppression and effective firefighting. Water is a major component of a community's Public Protection Classification (PPC®) grade. The water supply is also important to insurers, who need an accurate and objective assessment of the fire protection capabilities that serve millions of residential and commercial properties.
Hugh “Skip” Gibson
Manager, National Water Resources
Our field analysts evaluate the amount of water available compared with the amount needed to suppress fires. They analyze whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption. We also survey all components of the water supply system and provide an objective evaluation based on widely accepted national standards and criteria. We survey fire hydrants for distances to properties, types, inspection, size, installation, frequency and completeness of hydrant inspection, and flow-testing programs.
We base much of our water supply evaluations on needed fire flow, the amount of water that should be available for providing fire protection at selected locations throughout a community. We have established minimum criteria for our water supply evaluations and recognize the use of alternative water supplies.
To help insurers underwrite properties they may not have previously considered, we recently created a new water classification. Water Class 10W reflects ongoing loss experience analysis. It shows risks located more than 5 but less than 7 road miles from a responding fire station with a creditable water source within 1,000 feet have better loss experience than those farther than 5 road miles from a responding fire station with no creditable water source.
For details on how we score water resources, see items considered in the FSRS.
For details on how we conduct our surveys, see Water Supply Survey.
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