January 2015: ISO rating upgraded to “5Y” district wide
In August of 2014 ISO came to review Anderson Valley Fire Department for its capabilities in protecting and suppressing structure fires. Up until 2015, areas west of Philo were recognized as ISO 10 which was the lowest recognized fire protection rating given by ISO. The recent upgrade to a 5Y (or old 8B) comes as good news to Valley residents because it will assist in insurance costs.
The new 5Y rating stands for all structures within 5 road miles of any of our fire stations (exception of Signal Ridge). If your insurance company needs information on our capabilities please review and reference our “Station location and Apparatus Information” page for specific details [link to apparatus table].
Past events leading to new upgrade
In January of 2004 the Anderson Valley Fire Department was inspected by the “Insurance Services Office” (ISO) and received a rating of ISO Dwelling Class 8 for all properties within five road miles of any “responding station” ISO is a national for profit company that among other things rates fire departments according to a set of standards they have developed. Most insurance companies utilize ISO ratings as part of the data they use to determine how much your insurance cost. An ISO 10 rating is the lowest on the scale and can make a property virtually uninsurable. In our District the best rating we have is an ISO 5 which only applies to properties within 1,000 feet of one of the hydrants in downtown Boonville. As stated above, we were inspected in 2004 and received an improved rating of ISO Dwelling 8 for the 80% + of the District which fell within “five miles of a responding station”. This included all of the valley bottom from Rancho Navarro to Yorkville. In 2010 ISO began using a new standard in which they required that a station be “recognized” and able to deliver 4,000 gallons of water at 200 gallons per minute for 20 minutes. When this new standard was applied, they decertified our stations at Rancho Navarro, Navarro, Holmes Ranch, Signal Ridge and downtown Philo. The result was that most properties west of Nash Mill Road did not meet the new standard and reverted to the lowest ISO 10 rating.
In 2010 we had already begun construction on a new station that would meet ISO requirements on Rancho Navarro. Upon completion of the station we purchased a new 2500 gallon water tender to work with the structure engine we already had at that location. In 2012 we began construction on a new station on the Holmes Ranch that now also qualifies and we purchased another similar water tender for that station as well. Once these last two items were completed, we requested another inspection from ISO and received an improved ISO 5Y rating for the west end of the valley. This means that most of the properties in the west end of the valley currently rated at 10 will now drop to 5Y which means a substantial reduction in fire insurance costs. The apparatus table lists our stations and the apparatus they house along with their tank capacity and the volume of the pump.
Some insurance companies do not utilize the ISO rating system and instead ask for information related to the “nearest” station and the “nearest” responding apparatus. Generally speaking these insurance companies will rate the properties in the west end of our District at something comparable to the ISO 5Y rating.