ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC™) program gets a lot of rightful attention for its positive effect on local fire service. After all, it provides an impartial assessment of a fire district’s capabilities for both property insurers and fire departments. Robert Andrews, vice president of ISO Community Hazard Mitigation, recently took a slightly different look at PPC grades and how localities use them as a marketing tool to promote their communities.
Andrews authored an article entitled “ISO Public Protection Classification Program provides safety and economic benefits” for the January 2015 edition of FireRescue. In the article, he notes that municipal governments are recognizing that spending tax dollars on the right firefighting priorities and equipment can provide an economic development benefit for their citizens.
Communities are increasingly publicizing their positive PPC grades on websites, fire trucks, town welcome signs, economic development agency material, and other marketing venues to help attract and retain business. As more people become aware of the financial effects of fires and benefits of safety initiatives, municipal budget priorities could change to accommodate the new realities. Economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and individual commercial building owners who recognize the appeal of doing business in a well-protected community are being proactive in local risk reduction efforts. Reducing the risk of fire loss not only protects the community, it’s good business.