Walton receives higher ISO ratings for fire service

Special to The Sun

Walton County has recently received its newly revised ISO ratings in regard to the County’s fire protection services. The County has been given a 05/5X rating. This is the first revision to the County’s ISO ratings since the County moved from an all-volunteer fire department to paid firefighters. 

On Aug. 7, 2014, ISO came to Walton County to perform an assessment of the County’s Fire Department and fire protection service. As part of their process, ISO collected information on fire-protection efforts that fall in the jurisdiction of Walton County Fire Rescue and analyzed the relevant data using a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS).  

Following an assessment, ISO assigns a Public Protection Classification (PPC) from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire-suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria.

This new rating is a significant improvement over the County’s previous rating. Previously, Darlington, Gaskin, Glendale, Woodlawn and Red Bay all carried a 09/10 rating, Mossy Head was a 08/9 and both Paxton and Tri-Village were a 07/9.

In a split classification, the first number is the class that applies to properties within five road miles of the responding fire station and within 1,000 feet of a creditable water supply such as a fire hydrant or suction point. The second number is the class that applies to properties within 5 road miles of a fire station but beyond 1,000 feet of a creditable water supply. The new 5X classification is equivalent to that of a 9 in the previous rating system. 

This process helps insurance companies establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties.

The new ISO ratings go into effect on Feb. 1, 2015.  Based on the results, residents may see a change in their premiums based on the County’s ratings.  Residents who wish to find out if they qualify for a discount should contact their individual insurance providers.