Pascagoula's fire rating improves; may decrease insurance premiums - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula's fire rating improves; may decrease insurance premiums

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Homeowners and businesses in Pascagoula could see a decrease in their insurance premium rates due to the city's recent fire rating improvement from a Class Six to a Class Five. The upgrade was the result of the Mississippi State Rating Bureau's most recent inspection of the city's fire defense program.

"We're pleased with the improved fire insurance rating and encourage home and business owners in Pascagoula to check with their insurance provider to determine their cost savings," said Councilman-At-Large Harold Tillman.

"The city's fire department does a great job and we're proud of them and the other departments whose efforts have made this improvement possible,"  Tillman said. 

The rating bureau spent several days in Pascagoula examining and rating all areas of the fire defense program including the water system, fire protection equipment, facilities, training, operational procedures, staffing and code enforcement.

"The fire department and many other city departments have worked diligently since our last evaluation in 2003 to earn an even better rating," said Fire Chief Robert O'Sullivan.

"Our fire defense program was thoroughly evaluated and we're pleased with the results,"  O'Sullivan said. 

While most of the state's evaluated criteria deal directly with the fire department, the Pascagoula Code Enforcement Department plays an important role in the rating classification.

"The enforcement of the city's building codes affects insurance ratings for all our citizens," said Operations Manager Steve Mitchell.

"In this case the state reviews codes related to construction, proximity to surrounding buildings, occupancy per structure, and private protection like smoke alarms," Mitchell said.

The Mississippi State Rating Bureau's system ranges from First Class (best) to Tenth Class (not recognized as a certified fire department). The ratings are based on actual visual inspections by rating bureau personnel. The best fire insurance rating achieved in the State of Mississippi to date is Third Class.

The City of Pascagoula has also earned a Class Four insurance rating through the State Rating Bureau Building Code Effectiveness Grading reducing wind insurance premiums through the Mississippi Wind Pool.

Additionally, a Class Six rating through the Community Rating System gives Pascagoula residents a reduction in flood insurance premiums through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Homeowners and businesses in Pascagoula could see a decrease in their insurance premium rates due to the city's recent fire rating improvement from a Class Six to a Class Five. The upgrade was the result of the Mississippi State Rating Bureau's most recent inspection of the city's fire defense program.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly