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In 2001, Fire Department staff embarked on a re-evaluation of the Department's Insurance Service Office (ISO) fire rating for the first time since 1980. The Insurance Service Office is the only agency in the United States to rate the effectiveness of fire agencies to respond to and suppress fires. The fire insurance premiums of residential and commercial properties are based on ISO ratings. The Department's rating improved from a Class 4 to a Class 3 (on a 10 scale, with 1 being the best), placing the department among the top 3 percent of fire departments and fire protection districts in the United States (see chart below). See http://isomitigation.com for more information.
As of 2006, the City of Park Ridge is one of only 37 communities in the entire United States that has both Fire and Law Enforcement Accredited Agencies. Park Ridge is one of only 30 communities in the United States with both Fire and Law Enforcement Accredited Agencies and an Insurance Service Office Rating (ISO) of Class 3 or better. The Fire Prevention Bureau provides fire inspections, fire and life safety code enforcement and a comprehensive public education program. Park Ridge was the sixth community in the State of Illinois to adopt a residential sprinkler ordinance, requiring all new construction to be fully sprinkled.
The Insurance Service Office (ISO) of Commercial Risk Services
The ISO regularly performs surveys of all communities and fire districts. The ISO rating is one of the primary elements used by the insurance industry to develop premium rates for home and business. A lower ISO rating for the City lowers the amount of fire insurance residents pay. The ISO rating also provides a reflection of standards that have been developed over many years from the study of "pertinent fire protection conditions and performance standards.