Colington Fire District receives Class 3 rating for sixth consecutive year

Published 6:54 am Monday, August 14, 2023

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The Colington Fire District has received a Class 3 fire insurance classification rating for the sixth consecutive year following a routine inspection of its structure fire suppression capabilities that was performed earlier this year, stated a press release from Dare County.

The inspection – which was conducted by officials from the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) – is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS) and goes into effect on October 1, 2023.

State law requires OSFM officials to inspect departments serving districts of 100,000 people or less, which includes all but 12 of North Carolina’s fire districts. The routine inspections search for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source, among other items.

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A district’s fire insurance classification is used in the calculations of property insurance premiums, and the rating of a community’s responding fire department directly impacts property owners’ property insurance calculations. The Colington Fire District has maintained a Class 3 ranking since August 2017.

Class 3 applies to properties with a fire flow of 3,500 gallons per minute or less. The private and public protection at properties with larger needed fire flows are individually evaluated and may vary from the Class 3 classification.

The NCRRS rating system ranges from 1 (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state), with most rural departments falling into the 9S category. Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet the OSFM’s minimum criteria.

According to the OSFM, lower ratings do not necessarily indicate poor service; however, a higher rating does suggest that a department is better equipped to respond to fires within its district. Higher ratings can also significantly lower homeowners’ insurance rates in that fire district.

“I’d like to congratulate Chief Glenn Rainey for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said Dare County Fire Marshal Steve Kovacs. “Everyone who lives, works or plays in the Colington Fire District is served by a group of dedicated firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency – neighbors helping neighbors!”