Fire Rating Outside Knox City Limits May Be Lowered

Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Ken Pfost

The Knox-Center Township Fire Department is looking to create a committee to research the possibility of lowering the fire rating outside the Knox city limits. Fire Chief Kenny Pfost explains the fire rating procedure.

“ISO – which is Insurance Service Offices – they rate the residents of Knox, as well as throughout the county, at a certain fire class protection,” said Pfost. “For instance, residents in the city of Knox are rated at a Class 6 and residents in the county, or outside of city limits, are Class 9.”

Class One represents the best public protection and Class 10 indicates no recognized protection. Those with Knox addresses who are outside of the city limits were recently notified that their fire rating had gone from a classification of six to a nine. Pfost explains why that happened.

“The answer that I discovered was that insurance companies are discovering that just because someone has a Knox address or a North Judson address doesn’t necessarily live in the city limits,” Pfost said. “They automatically raise their fire protection class from a six to a nine which raises their insurance.”

Pfost was asked what criteria allows for a certain fire rating.

“It has a lot to do with the department itself – what types of equipment we are required to have,” he said. “We are required to have certain pieces of equipment on our fire apparatus. For instance, we are required to have so many feet of hose, different communication equipment and different types of hand tools. They also figure in different aspects of our dispatch center. I would say that the water supply is probably the biggest thing. In city limits, we have fire hydrants and outside of city limits there are no fire hydrants. That’s the big consideration.”

He explains how the committee and the fire department will show ISO they are capable of providing all services necessary to help lower the fire rating.

“We would have to have a scenario with our fire trucks where we can supply a certain amount of water for a certain amount of time. It would probably be a county-wide scenario where we would have some tankers from every department and we would haul water to show them [ISO] that we can sustain a certain amount of water for a period of time,” Pfost explained.

Pfost said it could take up to a year before any changes are made, if any, to the fire rating.