A score between one and 10 could change what you pay for property insurance.
A company called Insurance Services Office, or ISO, rates fire departments and their surrounding communities. The rating scale creates a standard used across the country and by insurance companies to help set rates.
"The score basically reflects how prepared a community is for fires," said Kristi Redding, an insurance broker with Insurance Professionals of Arizona.
Every property is assigned a number. "If you have a protection, a class three, that means you live in the city on a street with a municipal fire department and you pay less for insurance," said Redding.
Fire departments are ranked by class 1-10 with 1 being the best. According to ISO's 'Fire Suppression Rating Schedule', three main areas are considered:
- Emergency communications
- Fire department
- Water supply
Fire departments are rated on several factors, one being firefighter response. As ABC15 previously reported, the United Phoenix Firefighters Association says a lack of resources and population growth are leading to rising response times.
It's unclear exactly how a rise in response times impacts individual insurance rates because companies decide how they will weigh ISO scores, so the impact varies.