Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
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Fire Chief O'Barr and Fire Department PIO Anita Neath discussing the new ISO map. More pictures are below the article.
BREAKING NEWS: ISO Ratings Change Is Good News for Pike Home and Business Owners
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - There is good news for 95% of Pike County’s homeowners that Pike County Times learned in last night’s County Commission meeting. The ISO rating for the county has gone from a classification of 6/10 to a 5/10! The effective date for the change in the ISO rate is September 1, 2016. What is the ISO rate and how does it affect you?

ISO stands for Insurance Services Office, and insurance companies use classifications to determine the price of fire insurance for homes and businesses in Pike County. According to www.isomitigation.com, 50% of classification is based on the fire department, how it is dispatched to a fire, and the ability of the fire department to fight a fire based on its personnel and equipment. 40% of the classification is based on water supply in the event of a fire. The final 10% is based on the review of the fire alarm system including whether a community has 911 to dispatch fire fighters to a residence in the event of a fire and how fast that call can go out to 911 in the event of an emergency. [Note from the Editor: Some of the information from this article comes from a previous article about ISO ratings that can be read in its entirety at www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/ISO10.4.11.html.]

With 50% of the classification being based on our volunteer fire department and 40% being based on the water supply in the event of a fire, our County Commissioners and Pike County Fire Department had to work together to be sure that there was proper equipment for our volunteer fire fighters as well as the hard work shown by our Fire Chief Rick O’Barr and our volunteer fire fighters to show that they can shuttle water effectively to fires within our county despite the fact that we do not have fire hydrants throughout the county.

Being within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant has helped lower the amount paid on the insurance of many residents, but after this test to see how quickly and effectively our volunteer fire fighters can shuttle water to a scene by tankers in our latest Public Protection Classification (PPC) survey, the ISO rating will be going down for most of the county.

Letter to the Commissioners was presented last night

In a letter dated May 30, 2016 and presented to the Pike County Commission in last night’s county commission meeting, commissioners were advised that Pike County’s rating was lowered to a 5/10 for 95% of the county with most of the county going from a 6 to a 5. Qualifications for a 5 require being within a 5 mile radius of a fire station however so there are a few places in the county that do not qualify.

County Attorney Rob Morton and County Manager John Hanson praised Chief O’Barr for his hard work on the ISO rating because he headed up the project on his own personal time (because he is our volunteer Fire Chief) and the county was able to work with neighboring fire entities to put automatic aid agreements into place to cover the entire county. Hanson noted that there is still room for improvements with the Board of Commissioners and the Fire Department as well.

What do homeowners need to know?

According to the letter from ISO, “…most U.S. insurers – including the largest ones – use PPC information as part of their decision-making when deciding what business to write, coverage’s to offer or prices to charge for personal or commercial property insurance.”

Here are some specifics that may not make sense to you or me as home and business owners but will make sense to those providing insurance. Click here to download a copy of the letter to provide to your insurance company and read the specifics about Pike County’s new ISO rating.


ISO praised the “high level of cooperation extended by local officials during the entire PPC survey process” and also extended its appreciation to the Water Superintendents in Concord, Zebulon, Molena, and Williamson as well as the Utilities Manager and Water Superintendent for the Pike County Water and Sewerage Authority. A thank you was also extended to 911 Director Wendy Pippins and Rick O’Barr, Chief of the Pike County Fire Department.

“This classification is a direct result of the information gathered, and is dependent on the resource levels devoted to fire protection in existence at the time of the survey,” the letter says. It went on to say that material changes in these resources may affect the classification as well and eludes to the comment made by the County Manager that there is still room for improvement. “The community protection baseline information gathered by ISO is an essential foundation upon which determination of the relative level of fire protection is made using the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.”

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This is the biggest picture that I have ever had on my website but it is important to be able to see the map until I can get a .pdf that can be easily downloaded.

The thin black lines are places that are classified a 10. I am working on getting a .pdf so this can be seen even better. Thank you for the Fire Department for all of their hard work on this!