Alpharetta Maintains Top Fire Service Rating By John Robison Following an in-depth review and assessment by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the City of Alpharetta Department of Public Safety’s Fire Services has maintained its Class 1 rating, which places Alpharetta in the top 1% of all fire departments nationally and translates to lower homeowner’s insurance rates for Alpharetta residents.Of the 39,378 fire departments in the U.S., only 393 have earned the ISO Class 1 rating, with 24 of those being in Georgia. Alpharetta first earned the ISO 1 Rating in 2015, saving average homeowners 2-4% on their annual homeowner’s insurance premium.ISO collects information on municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the U.S. In each of those communities, it analyzes the relevant data using the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) and assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1-10. Class 1 is the highest rating and represents superior property fire protection. The FSRS evaluates departments based on four primary categories of fire suppression: fire department, emergency communications, water supply, and community risk reduction.The best overall score possible in the rating schedule is 105.5 points, and Alpharetta earned 92.86. In each of the primary categories, Alpharetta’s scores were as follows:About the Individual Scoring CategoriesFire Department scoring is based on the distribution of fire stations throughout the city, regular testing of pumps, and whether or not the department inventories each engine and ladder company’s equipment based on National Fire Protection Association standards. Other evaluation factors include the type and extent of training provided to fire personnel, number of people who participate in that training, firefighter response to emergencies, and maintenance and testing regimen for department equipment.Emergency Communications scoring is based on how well the fire department receives fire alarms and dispatches to the location of the emergency. To calculate the score for this category, ISO evaluates the emergency reporting systems, the communications center (including the number of communications officers), computer-aided dispatch facilities, the dispatch circuits, and how the center notifies firefighters about the location of the emergency.Water Supply scoring is based on whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption. ISO surveys all components of the water supply system, reviews fire hydrant inspections and frequency of flow testing, and counts the number of fire hydrants that are no more than 1,000 feet from the representative locations.Community Risk Reduction scoring is based on how well communities employ effective fire prevention practices and proactively strive to reduce fire severity through a structured program of fire prevention activities. The evaluation for this category considers factors such as fire prevention, fire safety education, and fire investigation.