Southern Pines residents and businesses could see lower insurance premiums for property owners thanks to the fire department’s improved insurance rating.
Southern Pines Fire Department recently underwent a rigorous inspection by the North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM).
This inspection typically occurs every five years and has a direct impact on the insurance premiums that property owners pay. While OSFM conducts the inspection, their results are turned over to the Insurance Services Office (ISO) to determine a Public Protection Classification, which is published by ISO and used by insurance companies to determine insurance rates.
The OSFM inspection occurred on June 7, and the fire department received a detailed inspection in the following areas: fire apparatus and equipment, fire station location, staffing, training, response and operations, 911 communications, water supply, and fire flow.
The ISO report rates community fire departments from Class 10 to Class 1, with Class 1 being the highest.
Effective January 1, 2023, the Southern Pines’ new Public Protection Classification will be a Class 2 within the town limits and a Class 3 in its rural district within five miles of a fire station, Fire Chief Mike Cameron said.
Southern Pines Fire Chief Mike Cameron. Courtesy photo.
“This is an improvement from the current Class 3 and represents a significant improvement from 2020 when Southern Pines was rated as a Class 4,” he said.
The new classification could result in lower fire insurance premiums. Property owners can check with their insurance companies on applicable discounts when the new classification becomes official in January 2023.
Cameron said the rating improvement demonstrates how the department has capitalized on the investments Southern Pines has made to improve the department’s ability to respond to all incident types. Of the 1,513 fire departments within North Carolina, Southern Pines is only the 89th department to achieve a Class 2 statewide.
“Our quality improvement efforts will continue, and we look forward to what the future holds in regards to responding to our community’s needs,” he said. “We are grateful for the supportive efforts of Mayor Carol Haney, the Town Council, and Town Manager Reagan Parsons.”
Cameron congratulated the department on its new rating.
“As the fire chief, I’m extremely proud of our members and their commitment to the citizens and department. This improved rating is not possible without the hard work and dedication of every member of the department.”
Feature photo of Southern Pines fire truck captured by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer Melissa Schaub.