Covington homeowners are advised to contact their insurance agents now to inform them of the Covington Fire Department's newly improved rating from the Insurance Service Organization which will become effective Oct. 1.
The fire department recently went from an ISO fire protection rating of '4' to a rating of '3' after the ISO updated its 1998 survey of the department in the spring.
Covington Fire Chief Don Floyd said the improvement in fire class protection could result in a 5 to 10 percent home insurance rate decrease for homeowners.
Since 1998 the fire department showed the most improvement in the number of firefighters it now employs and in its water system which comprises hydrant distribution and water main capacity.
The department lost 1 point in the area of its dispatch facilities used to transmit alarms to the fire department.
Overall the fire department gained 10 points out of a 100 point score since the last survey, going from 62.81 points to 72.76 points. Only 2.6 percent of fire departments nationally are ranked as Class 3 fire departments by the ISO. The vast majority unfortunately have much lower ratings.
Covington Fire Chief Don Floyd said it was his goal to see the department moved even further to a Class 2 rating before he retired.
To become a Class 2 fire department, the Covington fire department will need to gain approximately 7 points for an 80 point total.
Floyd recommended re-deploying the city's third engine company as the surest way to bring the department to a Class 2 rating. In order to re-deploy the third fire company, the city would have to hire 12 additional firefighters.
"That's what I've been asking for, for years," Floyd said. "That is what's required by ISO. That we send two engines and a ladder (truck) on all structure fires. By doing that and other small improvements we will possibly be able to go to Class 2."
Moving to an ISO Class 2 rating could result in an additional 5 percent insurance rate decrease for Covington homeowners.
The Covington fire department currently has two engine companies and two ladder companies.