Some businesses in Garner could see a decrease in fire insurance premiums after Garner Fire-Rescue, Inc., received a ratings boost from the North Carolina Department of Insurance and the Office of State Fire Marshal.
Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey announced that the department has received the highest mark possible, improving its fire rating from Class 2 to Class 1 within town limits. Wake County has 12 municipalities and with this achievement, seven now have Class 1 ratings and the remaining have Class 2.
Not only does Garner Fire-Rescue serve homes and businesses inside town limits, it is also responsible for responding to emergencies in the rural, unincorporated areas surrounding the town, for a total of 75 square miles of coverage area. With this evaluation, that unincorporated area improved from Class 4 to Class 3.
“This is a great achievement by Garner Fire-Rescue,” said Commissioner Matt Calabria, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners’ Public Safety Committee. “A Class 1 rating is truly impressive, and residents and business owners should feel safe knowing they are protected by this outstanding department.”
Fire ratings are based on inspections that examine how well a local fire department can protect your community and home. Insurance companies use these ratings to determine how much they’ll charge to insure businesses, so improvements can mean significant savings for commercial structures.
The North Carolina Response Rating System’s scale ranges from 1 (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state). While any rating does not necessarily indicate poor service, a more favorable rating does suggest that a department is better equipped overall to respond to fires — and therefore can result in lower insurance rates in that district.
”This accomplishment marks the second milestone for Garner Fire-Rescue in as many years. With this rating, our organization joins the less than 1% of approximately 1,300 fire departments in the state that are BOTH internationally accredited (CPSE) and ISO Class 1 rated,” said Garner Fire Chief Matthew Poole. “This is a direct reflection of the tremendous dedication and hard work of our staff, and we are extremely proud of them.”
The inspection, which is required by the state on a regular basis, looks for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source. State law requires OSFM officials to inspect departments serving districts of 100,000 people or fewer.
“This rating improvement for the more rural areas of Garner’s district is an especially proud achievement given the fact that Garner has more calls to the unincorporated areas of their district than any other fire department in the county,” said Darrell Alford, director of Wake County Fire Services. “This is a reflection of their hard work, dedication and passion to serve the community.”