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ISO Rating

What is an ISO Rating?

An ISO Rating is a value ranging from 1 to 10 where a 1 represents exemplary public protection to a 10 that indicates an area’s fire suppression program does not meet ISO's minimum criteria.

ISO stands for Insurance Services Office - a for-profit corporation that analyzes municipal fire protection efforts in US communities through its “Public Protection Classification” (PPC) program. ISO analyzes a variety of data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) - a manual used in reviewing the fire- fighting capabilities of individual communities. The schedule measures the major elements of a community's fire suppression system and develops a numerical grade called a Public Protection Classification, more commonly referred to as an ISO Rating.


How does the ISO rating affect residents?

Enhanced safety is the chief benefit of an improved ISO rating. Statistical data shows a direct relationship between better fire protection and a reduction in injuries and property loss. Beyond keeping people safe, an improved ISO rating generally results in lower property insurance rates.

What is Tellico Village Volunteer Fire Department's ISO Rating? 

TVVFD's ISO Public Protection Classification Rating is 4/4x.

What makes up an ISO rating?

The ISO Public Protection Classification consists of three major components:

  • Fire Department - 50%

  • Fire Communications: Receiving & Handling Fire Alarms - 10%

  • Municipal Water Supply - 40%

Fire Department

Fifty percent of the overall grade is based on the number of stations, apparatus, staffing, and training. ISO checks that the fire department tests its pumps regularly and inventories each engine's equipment,i.e., hoses, nozzles, breathing apparatus, etc.

ISO also reviews the fire company records to determine:

  • Type and extent of training provided to personnel

  • Number of people who participate in training

  • Firefighter response to emergencies

  • Maintenance and testing of fire department equipment


Fire Communications Receiving & Handling Alarms


Ten percent of the overall grade is based on how well the fire department receives fire alarms and dispatches its firefighting resources. Field representatives evaluate the communications center, looking at the number of operators at the center; the telephone service, including the number of telephone lines coming into the center; and the listing of emergency numbers in the telephone book. Field representatives also look at the dispatch circuits and how the center notifies firefighters about the location of the emergency.

Water supply

Forty percent of the overall grade is based on the community’s water supply. This part of the survey focuses on whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption. ISO surveys all components of the water supply system, including pumps, storage, and filtration. To determine the rate of flow the water mains provide, ISO observes fire-flow tests at representative locations in the community. Finally, ISO evaluates the distribution of fire hydrants.

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