The Spokane Valley Fire Department and the Cities of Spokane Valley, Millwood and Liberty Lake have achieved a Protection Class 2 fire insurance rating by the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau (WSRB). The rating is effective April 1, 2017 and typically lasts for 10 years. These cities were previously designated as Class 3. The unincorporated areas of the Spokane Valley Fire Department remain a Class 3 rating.
A Class 2 city designation can equate to lower insurance premiums for residents and business owners depending in their respective insurance carriers. Residents and business owners are encouraged to contact their insurance agents to determine the relative effect this new protection classification will have on their insurance premiums.
The WSRB rates cities and their fire departments by risk level between 1 and 10 (1 indicates exemplary fire protection capabilities; 10 indicates insufficient capabilities). Many insurance companies use the WSRB designation to assess insurance premium rates for homeowners and commercial properties. Protection Class designation is determined by WSRB’s assessment of the fire department’s ability to suppress fires. Categories include:
- Fire Department – distribution of fire stations, engine and ladder companies, pumping capacity, apparatus maintenance, department personnel staffing and training
- Water Supply – adequacy of firefighting water supply including water flow, hydrant locations and system maintenance
- Emergency Communications – evaluation of the community’s 911 system ability to receive and handle calls for emergency services
- Fire Safety Control – fire prevention, public education and building code enforcement
Spokane Valley Fire Department is the only Class 2 fire department in Eastern Washington and one of only two fire departments (Bellevue) statewide that have both a Class 2 rating and are internationally Accredited. There are only five fire departments statewide that have earned the Class 2 designation. A Class 3 designation is held by the top seven percent of all fire departments statewide. There are no agencies in the State of Washington rated as a Class 1.
The evaluation criteria used by WSRB incorporates many nationally-recognized standards, such as those developed by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and American Water Works Association (AWWA).
The WSRB’s evaluation of Spokane Valley Fire Department fire protection capabilities has been filed with and approved by the Washington State Office of Insurance Commissioner.