Critical Infrastructure

Fire suppression capabilities

Community Fire Protection

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ISO partners with municipal fire authorities, city managers, and other community officials to evaluate local fire-protection resources. With a staff of field representatives located strategically around the country, we have evaluated and continue to monitor more than 45,000 fire-protection areas in the United States. With the cooperation of local authorities, our representatives collect data on fire station locations, protection-area boundaries, emergency dispatch centers, fire department resources, and water-system capabilities. We currently have extensive information on more than 30,000 areas served by community water systems. ISO’s ongoing dialogue with community fire and water authorities keeps community-infrastructure information current. Learn more about those efforts with ISO’s Community Outreach Program.

Public fire protection

ISO provides reliable, up-to-date information about a community’s fire-protection services through the Public Protection Classification (PPC™) program. ISO’s PPC Service evaluates the capacity of the local fire department to respond to and fight structure fires. By evaluating a community’s ability to suppress fires, ISO provides crucial information for understanding risk associated with a specific property. Fire and water officials benefit because they gain a road map for improvements in fire service and water supply.  

This map shows the PPC grades for communities in the 48 contiguous states. PPC grades run from Class 1 — which generally represents superior property fire protection — to Class 10 — which indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria. A third of all fire districts are graded Class 9 — the lowest recognized protection — or Class 10. ISO statistics show that those communities have losses at least twice as high as their better-protected neighbors.

FSRS and ISO Public Protection Classifications PPC

Data you can only get by going on-site

ISO collects information on municipal fire-protection capabilities through on-site assessments. Data includes:

Fire-Alarms and Communications Systems

  • alarm dispatch circuits
  • radio and telephone facilities
  • alarm facilities
  • equipment for power supply
  • overall system operation

Fire Department

  • fire station, apparatus, and equipment
  • pumper tests
  • aerial ladder and elevating platform test
  • drills and training
  • department personnel
  • firefighter response

Water Supply

  • water pumping equipment
  • needed fire flow
  • hydrant flow tests
  • hydrant condition
  • identifying locations of:
    • supply and storage facilities
    • mains, pressure zones, and valves
    • hydrants
    • new streets

For more information on how ISO works with local communities to improve fire protection, request these revealing studies: