Personnel from the Department of Insurance will visit Burlington next week (February 7-11) to evaluate Burlington's ability to suppress fires within our City. Municipal fire departments the size of Burlington are normally evaluated by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) at least once every 10 years. These evaluations are conducted to gather information used to assist in setting fire insurance rates. Municipalities with a population under 100,000 are evaluated by the N.C. Department of Insurance, and the results are distributed to ISO.
The ISO evaluation schedule is divided into four parts: 50% of the rating comes directly from fire department operations; 40% from water supply; 10% from the emergency communications system; and, the fourth area of evaluation is divergence. Points are deducted if one area of evaluation is not proportional to the others.
The Fire Department will be graded on available equipment, fire station and unit distribution, staffing and training. Water supply will receive credits for capacity and distribution of available water and fire hydrant maintenance and distribution. Communications will be evaluated on management of alarms, dispatch of emergency calls and telephone receiving equipment.
A portion of the ISO evaluation will include flowing water from approximately 35 fire hydrants City-wide. Hydrant flows are scheduled to take place on February 9 and 10. Burlington water customers may experience discoloration of water due to these fire hydrant flows. If discoloration occurs, residents are advised to open their cold water faucets and flow for approximately 15 minutes or until discoloration clears. Residents are also advised not to wash white or lightly colored clothing while water is discolored.