Towanda has gained its Class 6 & 6/8B ISO rating effective Feb. 1, 2014

Towanda Mayor Jennifer Shaults announced the city of Towanda has gained its Class 6 & 6/8B ISO rating effective Feb. 1, 2014.

The rating, provided by Insurance Services Office, can affect the cost of homeowners’ insurance, with a lower rating meaning lower premiums. Insurance companies have 90 days from the effective date to respond to the lowered rating, meaning homeowners could begin to see changes in their insurance costs.

Towanda’s ISO rating dropped to Class 6 & 6/8B after the ISO’s recent Public Protection Classification (PPC) survey. This rating has been amended from a 7 & 7/9 rating.

“I congratulate Fire Chief Tom Pyle and the Planning/Zoning and Maintenance Departments for the work they did to help Towanda qualify for its Class 6 rating,” Shaults said. “The rating reflects the importance the City of Towanda places on keeping its residents safe.”

The rating is based on four factors – the city’s ability to receive and respond to fire alarms; the fire department’s first-alarm response and initial attack capabilities; the water supply system; and divergence, which is defined as the disparity between the effectiveness of the fire department and water supply scores.

“This rating is a tribute to a number of factors, including increased volunteer training, improved fleet maintenance, enhanced water supply and emergency communications,” City Administrator Matt Engels said. “And this is all a tribute to the support we have received from the Mayor and City Council.”

The ISO is a leading source of information about insurance risk that gauges the fire protection capability of local fire departments to respond to structure fires. The ISO collects information on a community’s public fire protection and analyzes the data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. It then assigns a protection rating. Besides the potential effect on insurance premiums, PPC data are useful in strategic planning, budgeting and justifying fire protection improvements.