An Office of State Fire Marshal inspection of the Knightdale Fire Department resulted in a better rating that is expected to benefit businesses and residents within the town limits.
The department’s current Insurance Services Office rating is a 5. Starting Sept. 1, that will improve to a Class 3 rating. Knightdale fire Chief Tim Guffey said commercial properties stand to benefit most with lower insurance premiums as a result of the upgrade, though residents could see an impact too.
“Especially for commercial properties, it could mean thousands of dollars,” Guffey said. “Residential, it doesn’t impact as much once you get beyond a Class 5.”
Fire departments regularly go through such assessments, which consider the sufficiency of staffing levels, equipment, maintenance, communications and water supply.
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“It’s really broken down into three areas: communications, water supply and the department itself,” Guffey said.
The department has regularly seen good scores for communications as part of the Raleigh/Wake 911 system.
It improved slightly on its water supply and picked up some extra points for departmental training and for having purchased new equipment since its last inspection.
“We’ve been pretty diligent at getting in the training we needed and them some – not just to get points, but to be prepared for any emergency or situation we’re dealing with,” Guffey said.
The department was most improved in community risk reduction, the chief said. That area includes anything firefighters do partnering with residents and businesses on fire prevention and safety measures, like child passenger safety seat checks.
“We are very proud to have shown that we continuously work to improve our department’s capabilities to protect the residents of the Town of Knightdale,” Guffey said in a statement.