Communities are rated on a scale of one to ten with lower ratings reflecting a fire protection system that is likely to result in lower fire loss. Communities in Washington state have ratings ranging from two to ten (there are no communities rated as protection class one). Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue’s service area has several different ratings. The Town of Coupeville is rated as protection class four and the unincorporated areas of the district are rated protection class five if within 1000 feet and class six if greater than 1000 feet from a hydrant with adequate flow and total water supply for fire protection. As illustrated above, a reduction in protection class rating may result in significant savings in fire insurance premiums. There is a limited difference between the impact of protection class on residential properties between protection class two and protection class five. However, as the classification increases (six through ten) so do fire insurance premiums.
A community’s fire protection system is comprised of many different components. Four major components of the community fire protection system are considered when the WSRB determines the fire insurance protection classification rating: The fire district, water supply, fire safety control (public education, fire prevention, code enforcement, and fire investigation), and emergency communications.