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Alpharetta Maintains Top Fire Service Rating

Released February 19, 2021 10:36 AM

Following an in-depth review and assessment by the Insurance Services Office, the City of Alpharetta Department of Public Safety’s Fire Services has maintained its Class 1 rating.  The Class 1 rating places Alpharetta in the top 1% of all fire departments nationally.

“We are extremely proud of this accomplishment and what it says about the quality of services that our team provides to Alpharetta’s residents, businesses, and guests,” said John Robison, Alpharetta’s Director of Public Safety.  “It is the result of consistently executing plans that were put in place starting 20 years ago, the unwavering support of the Mayor and City Council, and the tireless commitment of every firefighter and 911 officer in the Alpharetta service.  But, we would still not be among the top 1% if it were not for the partnerships with our sister municipalities and most of all, the support of the awesome residents of Alpharetta.”

Only 393 of the 39,378 fire departments in the United States has earned the Insurance Service Office (ISO) Class 1 rating, with only 24 of those being in Georgia.  Alpharetta first earned the ISO 1 Rating in 2015, saving the average homeowner between 2% and 4% on their annual homeowner’s insurance premium.

ISO collects information on municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States.  In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the relevant data using their Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) and then assign a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10.  Class 1 is the highest rating and represents superior property fire protection.  The FSRS evaluates departments based on four primary categories of fire suppression: fire department, emergency communications, water supply, and community risk reduction.

The best overall score possible in the rating schedule is 105.5 points, and Alpharetta earned 92.86.  In each of the primary categories, Alpharetta’s scores were as follows:




Maximum Points Available

Alpharetta’s Score

Fire Department



Emergency Communications



Water Supply



Community Risk Reduction




About The Individual Scoring Categories

Fire Department is based on the distribution of fire companies throughout the city, the regular testing of pumps, and if the department inventories each engine and ladder company’s equipment based on National Fire Protection Association standards.  Other evaluation factors include the type and extent of training provided to fire personnel, number of people who participate in that training, firefighter response to emergencies, and the maintenance and testing regimen for department equipment.

Emergency Communications is based on how well the fire department receives and dispatches fire alarms.  To calculate the score for this category, ISO evaluates the emergency reporting systems, the communications center (including the number of communications officers), computer-aided dispatch facilities, and the dispatch circuits and how the center notifies firefighters about the location of the emergency.

Water Supply focuses on whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption.  ISO surveys all components of the water supply system, reviews fire hydrant inspections and frequency of flow testing, and counts the number of fire hydrants that are no more than 1,000 feet from the representative locations.

Community Risk Reduction allows recognition for those communities that employ effective fire prevention practices and proactively strive to reduce fire severity through a structured program of fire prevention activities.  The evaluation for this category considers factors such as fire prevention, fire safety education, and fire investigation.