Concord Fire Department achieves Class 1 ISO rating
Friday, June 8, 2018

CONCORD – Many owners of retail, commercial, and industrial businesses in Concord City limits will have lower fire insurance costs following a recent evaluation by the N.C. Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal. Fire insurance rates are based on ISO Public Protection Classification Program. ISO's expert staff collects information about municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the relevant data and assigns a Public Protection Classification (PPCTM) — a number from 1 to 10, with Class 1 generally representing superior property fire protection. The City of Concord’s ISO rating has improved to Class 1, effective September 1, 2018.

The Class 1 rating places Concord Fire Department in the top 0.03 percent in the nation. There are over 48,000 rated fire districts in the United States. Concord’s PPC has been lowered four times in the past 22 years. The classification previously dropped from Class 5 to 4 in June 1996, to Class 3 in November 2004, and to Class 2 in June 2013.

“I’d like to congratulate Chief Ray Allen for his department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said Mike Causey, Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal. “The citizens in
Concord should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of emergency.”

The classification program evaluates three major components: the fire department (50 percent of the score), water supply (40 percent), emergency communications (10 percent); with extra credit available for community risk reduction efforts. Cities are rated on the number of engine and ladder companies, fire personnel, and equipment. Evaluation of the water system includes the amount of fire hydrants and the pressure and flow of water, which would be needed in the case of a fire. The amount of time it would take fire personnel to arrive at a location is also a large factor. The new community risk reduction section considers fire prevention, education, and investigation efforts.

Since the classification received in 2013, the City has improved fire protection by adding Fire Station 11, located on Weddington Road and added additional staffing throughout the community. The Concord Fire Department has also made significant improvements in fire company distribution, technology, and efficiency over the past five years. In addition, the City has continued to make improvements in its water and emergency communications systems, and those departments scored very well, helping Concord achieve the Class 1 PPC.

“The current and former members of City Council made this possible through their support and investment in infrastructure and people,” said Concord Mayor Bill Dusch. “Whether investing in fire stations and apparatus, improved water capacity, better communications, or community education efforts, the Council’s leadership and vision was a key element in providing this peace of mind to our community.”

Each PPC classification improvement results in a reduction in commercial and industrial fire insurance rates. Generally, there are no additional savings for residential properties after a community achieves Class 6.

"This is a significant milestone in the proud history of the Concord Fire Department, with credit to our colleagues in the Water Resources and Communications Departments," said Chief Allen. "Certainly our Class 1 rating would not be possible without the men and women of the Concord Fire Department, and this rating reflects our core value of continuous improvement and our business friendly, customer-focused environment.”

Learn more about the Concord Fire Department at