This year, the City of White Rock requested an evaluation of the community’s fire protection program and update of its Fire Insurance Grades. This is accomplished through completion of a Fire Underwriters Survey.
The Fire Underwriters Survey covers four primary areas:
- Fire Department - Apparatus, equipment, pumping capacity, staffing, response, training and management;
- Water Supply – Distribution system, hydrant location and maintenance, storage, emergency water supplies and reliability;
- Fire Safety Control - Fire prevention programs and public education; and
- Fire Service Communications - Transmission of alarms, dispatch and fire operations radio system.
The survey results provide a grading in two categories:
- Public Fire Protection Classification: This grading system evaluates the ability of a community’s fire protection program to prevent and control major fires that may occur in multifamily residential, commercial and institutional buildings. Class 1 is the highest grading possible and Class 10 would indicate little to no fire protection. The City of White Rock received a Class 2 grading in this category.
- Dwelling Protection Grade: This grade reflects the ability of a department to handle fires in buildings such as a single-family residence. The numerical grading system is scaled from 1 to 5, with a 1 being the highest grade possible. The City of White Rock received a Grade 1 in this category.
Prior to the 2018 review, the Public Fire Protection Classification for the City was Class 4, which is fairly typical for similar sized communities in BC and across Canada. This year, however, the PFPC survey for White Rock improved to a Class 2. Today, White Rock is one of two communities across Canada in the 15,000 to 25,000 population range that has a Class 2 rating. Within this population range, White Rocks rating is in the top three for Canada!
“I want to underscore the significance of the grading White Rock received, which verifies what we have believed for serval years, namely that the investment into our water distribution system would greatly increase our firefighting capabilities over what we had when the utility was in private hands,” said Mayor Wayne Baldwin. “Jumping two levels to a rating of two which is a level achieved or exceeded by only three other municipalities in Canada, of a comparable size, is a testament to the benefits of public ownership and for Council following the advice of professionals—both consultants and our very own competent staff,” Mayor Baldwin concluded.
Watch White Rock City Council receive the report on the Fire Underwriters Survey Report at the June 11, 2018, Regular Council Meeting.
About Fire Underwriters Survey The Fire Underwriters Survey is a national organization that represents more than 85% of the private sector property and casualty insurers in Canada. Fire Underwriters Survey provides data to its subscribers regarding public fire protection for fire insurance statistical and underwriting evaluation. The survey also provides municipalities with a review of the current levels of fire protection within the community and provides recommendations where improvements will better enable them to deal with fire protection problems.