Data from private fire hydrants to be included in ISO audit

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023–11:15 a.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

The Rome-Floyd County Fire Marshal’s office is asking businesses and industries that have private fire hydrants for data that could help lower insurance rates.

The Insurance Services Office or ISO comes in and does an audit for the fire department that helps reduce insurance ratings. The Rome Fire Department currently has a rating of 2. Of course, the lower the score, the better.

Now, the ISO will be including private hydrants, according to Rome Fire Marshal May Catherine Chewning.

“A private fire hydrant is an additional water supply or sprinkler system that has been installed in a structure that is usually required by the fire code,” she said. “We are seeking the public’s help, from all of our building owners and business owners. We are trying to collect the flow test data from all of these private fire hydrants so we can present it when the ISO comes back for their research and audit in a couple of years.”

Chewning ISO is very firm on what they require, and the requirement is something new.

“ISO has decided they are going to put this back into their requirement package to make sure there is adequate water for the structure and its sprinkler system,” she said. “So, it’s very important. As long as we have the data, ISO will be very happy, and again, that will increase our points and give us an excellent ISO rating.”

Private hydrants are part of the water line from runs from the water meter to the building. It’s separate from the city and county water systems. Many times, the sprinkler contractors include the price in their package for testing the private fire hydrants. So, testing and water flow data is normally a part of what the business already pays for.

According to Linda Patty, fire safety educator with the Rome Fire Department, the whole point of ISO is that they are trying to see how safe the community is and how fact emergency services can respond to an incident.

“Because that’s going to save lives, and in the end, it’s going to save money,” she said. “For us, it’s all about how fast we can respond to save property and lives.”

For more information, you can visit the Rome-Floyd Fire Department website or contact Chewning at (706) 591-0025.

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