Some businesses in and around Wake Forest could see a decrease in fire insurance premiums thanks to improved ratings by the North Carolina Department of Insurance/Office of State Fire Marshal.
After completing required inspections, the Wake Forest Fire Department is excited to announce it has advanced its fire rating from 4 to 1, becoming the sixth department in Wake County to receive this prestigious rating. Wake County fire departments account for one-third of Class 1-rated departments in the state.
“We are very proud of the Wake Forest Fire Department,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Matt Calabria. “Wake County is committed to providing the best public safety services possible to our residents. We’re also lowering the price of doing business in Wake County by reducing insurance costs for many area businesses.”
Insurance companies use these ratings to determine how much they’ll charge to insure businesses, so improvements can mean significant savings for commercial structures.
“It’s an honor to achieve this elite rating,” said Wake Forest Fire Chief Ron Early. “The dedicated men and women of the Wake Forest Fire Department work hard every day to ensure our department meets the highest standards to protect our residents and businesses. We are thankful for the support we receive from the town’s administration and other departments as we all strive to provide the best possible service to our residents.”
The Wakette Fire District, the unincorporated area served by the Wake Forest Fire Department, received a 3 rating, making it the eighth Wake County department serving an unincorporated area to receive such a grade.
All unincorporated areas of Wake County that are within five miles of a fire station are now rated at Class 4 or lower. Since 2015, all Wake County fire departments have improved their insurance rating scores.
“We are proud of the Wake Forest Fire Department and their members for this accomplishment,” said Darrell Alford, director of Wake County Fire Services. “The improved insurance ratings reflects the partnership between Wake County and the Town of Wake Forest to provide a high level of emergency services for residents within the town and county districts.”
The North Carolina Response Rating System’s scale ranges from one (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.
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.
Business owners in the town and county areas could see reduced insurance premiums based on these new scores by April 2022.