Insurance article raises questions

Editor:

In response to your story “SHFAD working to hold down insurance premiums,” I have two questions.

One, how much money will it cost the residents and businesses in Sweet Home per year in increased insurance premiums if our fire department as a reduced rating?

Two, if the “ladder truck,” which is necessary for our fire department to purchase to have a better rating costs $400,000 and the increased premiums we will all have to pay will total this amount every few years, wouldn’t it make the most financial sense in the long run for everyone in Sweet Home to donate money to purchase this truck? Wouldn’t we all save money in the long run by donating money now to help the fire department get this truck?

I certainly would be willing to donate the difference of what a few years increased premiums would cost if it would keep my insurance premium lower in the long run.

Furthermore, how much money would we all save, especially businesses, if our fire deaprtment had a perfect rating? Perhaps it would make financial sense for businesses to chip in and help pay for someone to do the required inspections of businesses every six months. Maybe Lebanon fire department would go 50-50 with our fire department on this one.

So far as the requirement for “pre-fire plans,” I did a little poking around on the Internet and found a couple of simple solutions to this requirement. One is simply to send every business a letter asking for the information required for a pre-fire plan every year. The other is a computer software add-on that makes creating a pre-fire plan easy.

Note that the document mentioned below titled, “Your Next ISO Rating — Simple Solutions,” is a 21-page document that includes all sorts of helpful information for fire departments to obtain a perfect rating with less work than they think is necessary.

Also producing pre-fire plans for small businesses might be a good educational project for high school students, which would serve our community well.

The following is the information I found and the Internet links to obtain this information:

1) Your Next ISO Rating — Simple Solutions: http://www.eaglefirecompany.org/emergencyservice/askiso.pdf.

Got Pre-Fire Plans?

Question: What is required to maximize the category called preplans and inspections?

The first requirement is the pre-plan drawings must be int he first-out rigs. For a 100-percent successful low-cost way to earn two ISO points, write a letter on fire department letterhead and have the chief sign it. (See the building preplanning form below.) Attach it to every water, sewer or tax bill. If necessary conduct a separate mailing. After such a letter was sent in a local community, every business filled it out and returned it. In a majority of cases, each provided more information than requested, including computer-aided drawings and site plans for the buildings.

Each year, the same letter should be sent again to ensure the information is still correct. Biannual building walkthroughs or review of pre-plan books will keep fire crews current on each occupancy. A simple balloon file labled A-Z or a three-ring binder keeps the pre-plans and drawings organized and available when needed. Every firefighter needs to go through each commercial or public building twice a year. Records should be kept of those visits.

2) BRG Precision Products: FireLine Pre-Fire Plan and Map Graphics Package for Microsoft Visio, $129. http://www.brgproducts.com/page5.html.

Bill Davis

Sweet Home

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