Kanab City Fire Department has a reason to celebrate this month. The department was recently notified that its fire protection rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), a national insurance industry risk rating and assessment service inspection, will improve this spring to a Class 3/3X.

This change not only means the department’s level of fire protection service has improved, according to the ISO analysis, it could also earn lower property insurance rates for home and business owners within Kanab City. With the update, the department’s rating drops from its previous Class 5 rating.

ISO rates municipalities on a scale of one to 10. An ISO Class 10 rating is considered the least effective fire defense while an ISO class 1 rating is the most effective fire defense system from an insurance analysis perspective. ISO ratings play an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies. Most U.S. insurers, including the largest ones, use these ratings as part of their decision-making when deciding what businesses to write, coverage to offer or prices to charge for personal or commercial property insurance.

The news of the lower rating is exciting for the city, as well as all personnel with the Fire Department. Chief Joe Decker said, “This was not an overnight task, as Fire Department personnel had to work hard to keep up standards, changes with operating procedures and update information on all areas of fire protection in the city.”

The ISO’s process for the rating is based on surveying and inspecting all aspects of what the fire department has achieved since its last review in August 2009. ISO officials look at the 911 system, the water system as it relates to hydrants, and many other factors involved in providing quality fire and rescue service. Countless hours of preparation went into getting ready for the inspection, Decker said.

Of 48,754 departments inspected nationwide, only 132 achieved a Class 1 ISO rating. Kanab joins just 3,056 other departments in the nation that have achieved a Class 3 rating, which placed us in the top 11 percent of all fire departments and fire protection districts in the United States. When the ISO develops a single PPC for a community, all of the community’s properties receive that classification. In many communities, the ISO develops a split classification such as ours of Class 3/3X.

Following is the criteria for each category:

•Class 3 - Applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant.

•Class 3X - Applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station but beyond 1,000 feet of a hydrant.

•Class 10 – Applies to properties beyond five road miles of a fire station.

“We are very proud of the Kanab Fire Department and this accomplishment. People don’t understand the behind the scenes time and effort in classroom education, training, and fire code enforcement. Kanab is lucky to have Chief Decker and all of the firemen that are dedicated to protecting our citizens and their property,” stated Kanab City Mayor Robert Houston.

Insurance companies will be automatically notified April 1, 2016 of the change in ISO rating.