The City of Huntington Beach Fire Department was surveyed by the Insurance Services offices (ISO) to determine its Public Protection Classification (PPC) and in September 2004 was awarded a Class 1 rating. This is an exemplary fire suppression rating. This is the first time in the City's history that it has received such an excellent ISO rating. ISO is the leading supplier of statistical, underwriting, and actuarial information to the property/casualty insurance industry and is used by most insurers to calculate the premiums for residential, commercial and industrial subscribers.
Using this rating scale, ISO objectively reviews the fire suppression capabilities of the community and assigns a Public Protection Classification – a number from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents exemplary fire protection in the community and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire suppression programs do not meet minimum recognition criteria. ISO evaluates a community approximately once every 10 years or when major department changes occur. The last time Huntington Beach was surveyed was 1990; at that time, the City received a Class 2 rating.
The Fire Suppression Rating Schedule allots credit to three major features of a fire suppression system by evaluating the following:
Fire Alarm and Communications Systems: This accounts for the community's ability to handle and dispatch fire alarms.
Fire Department: This accounts for the largest part of the total classification, which focuses on items such as engine companies, ladder or service companies, distribution of fire stations and fire companies, equipment carried on apparatus, pumping capacity, reserve apparatus, department staffing and training.
Water Supply System: This is the second major portion of the total classification highlighting the water supply a community uses for fire suppression, including hydrant size, type, and installation, as well as the inspection frequency and condition of fire hydrants.
In all three major areas, the Huntington Beach Fire Department received exemplary ratings. The Class 1 rating is a rating of exceptional merit and is rare: