By KRYSTAL RINER
Some Perry residents may see a hike in their homeowner’s insurance premiums.
The Insurance Services Offices (ISO) conducted an evaluation of the Perry Fire Department in July and increased the classification from a 5 to a 5/9.
That rating is different from the class 5 the department received in 2000, according to Fire Chief Joel Gray.
ISO scores departments based on several key components of a community’s fire suppression system. The categories departments are graded on are personnel, equipment, water supply, training and coverage area.
The most superior rating a community can receive is a one. A class 10 rating is the worst and indicates there is a no fire protection recognized.
The class 9 portion of the rating for Perry will impact structures within five miles of the city’s station that are within a 1,000 feet of a two-port fire hydrant.
Gray explained the ISO rating to mayor and council at Tuesday’s meeting.
He explained the reasons ISO noted for the 5/9 included older hydrants that are not recognized by ISO (two-way hydrants), shortage in manpower and less than required water flow.
Gray told the council that the issue of personnel was no surprise, as was the deficiency in water flow.
Based on the ISO report and standards, Perry should have 17 people on duty each day. The station is currently staffed with six guys on duty daily.
“The staffing is issues we have discussed before,” Gray said.
Gray advised the council that he had a few questions about the report that he had already sent back to ISO.
He also said that he believed ISO had a 90-day grace period to submit a corrective action report, which would allow for improvements to be made before insurance premiums were impacted.
In effort to help fix the problem, Gray told the council they would work hard to determine where all of the older two-way hydrants were into the city. Gray also noted that he and his staff would be working with ESG and public works to replace what they could.
As for the properties located outside of the five-mile radius around the station the rating will remain a class 10, Gray said.
He told the council that once the new Davis Farms station is open, he would ask ISO to revisit in hopes of lowering the rating.
Out of 100 total points possible, Perry received 58.57.