Lakewood Fire Department's Solid Marks on Report Could Mean Lower Insurance Rates for Residents | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Lakewood Fire Department’s Solid Marks on Report Could Mean Lower Insurance Rates for Residents

April 07, 2016

The city of Lakewood’s most recent Insurance Offices evaluation of the Lakewood Fire Department put it in the top 2 percent of fire departments in the state of Ohio — out of more than 2,800 fire departments.

The city is also among the top 2.5 percent of fire departments of nearly 50,000 evaluated across the country.

But it may also save residents’ money.

“This report is great news because it essentially means possible lower property insurance costs for our residents and business owners,” said Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers. “Our fire department does an excellent job of keeping our residents safe, but they are also good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”

Lakewood Fired Department’s ISO Grade was rated as a 2, with a score of 86.89. This grade shows an improvement from the last evaluation when the city was graded as a 3 — a mark that the city has held for years.

The ISO rating system works on a 1-to-10 value system and is graded based on levels of fire protection, water supply and infrastructure and dispatch service. A rating of 1 is given to departments offering the best fire protection possible, while a 10 rating is roughly equal to no fire protection at all.

Lakewood Fire Chief Scott Gilman said while he’s pleased with the rating, there’s room for improvement.

“Since we completed the evaluation we have already implemented steps to improve,” said Gilman. “These steps include a re-evaluation of hydrants to determine the number of substandard hydrants, improved officer training, and training additional fire instructors.”

There were several factors that went into Lakewood’s success.

“A community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predicator of future fire losses,” according to the ISO report. “Insurance companies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance — generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection. By offering economic benefits for communities that invest in their firefighting services, the program provides an additional incentive for improving and maintaining public fire protection.”