The below article is a repost from the East Pierce Fire and Rescue Quarterly Fire House New.
Bonney Lake — The Washington Survey and Rating Bureau (WSRB) conducted a re-rate of the areas served by East Pierce Fire & Rescue. This process is conducted every five years by the WSRB. The review consists of four aspects of community fire safety with the fire department being just one of those.
A numerical classification of 1 through 10 is used to represent the fire protection capabilities in a community with 1 being the best rating possible.
Most areas in EPFR received improved scores. Some received enough to improve the insurance rating while others remained un-changed. EPFR specifically improved in one area as a result of increased staffing on our fire engine companies.
The new rates are effective April 1, 2020. The rating process can be confusing as there are additional factors involved. For instance, you may live in unincorporated Pierce County, which will be rated a 3. However, if there is no fire hydrant within 1,000 feet of your home, the lack of water supply will raise the individual property rating to an 8A. If the property is greater than five miles from a certified fire station, the property will be rated a 9. With today’s mapping technologies, the WSRB knows this information for every tax parcel in the State.
If you live in an area with an improved rating, contact your insurance agent to see if you might enjoy a premium reduction. This will vary by insurance provider as not every insurance company subscribes to the WSRB rating system.
The unincorporated area received the best rating because the Pierce County Fire Marshal conduct annual fire safety inspections in businesses (Fire Safety Control). EPFR hopes to provide this service soon in our cities but can’t do so until we add staffing to our Fire Prevention Division.
Unfortunately, we did receive some bad news. Station 115 (located at 1605 210 Avenue East) was decertified as there is no longer a volunteer firefighter force responding from that station.
This becomes an issue for those who do not have a certified fire station within five mils of their property. Snag Island is the primary area affected, as station 111 (Bonney Lake) and Station 114 (West Lake Tapps) both reach the five-mile mark at the entrance to Snag Island. Properties on the island are already rated an 8A due to the lack of water supply for fire control. Changing from an 8A to a 9 may result in a slight increase your homeowner’s fire insurance premium.
More information on how the rating system works can be at https://www1.wsrb.com/departments/public-protection/protection-class-overview.
The fire department should see additional improvements at our next rating with new fire engines, a new ladder truck and some new fire stations — all of which are funded via the Bond Issue that voters approved in November of 2018.
Additional information including rating reports is available at www.eastpiercefire.org.