Homeowners in South Dakota’s largest city might soon get a break on their insurance bills.
The Insurance Services Office that scores about 48,000 fire departments nationwide is upgrading Sioux Falls’ public protection grade to the second-best mark that a fire department can receive.
“What it measures is a community’s firefighting capabilities, and it goes to not only the proximity of firehouses but also water pressure, hydrant locations and the number of firefighters who are in the area to combat a fire,” said Michael Barry with the Insurance Information Institute, a national organization that aims to help the public understand the insurance industry.
The improved rating is expected to take effect next month and eventually could collectively save Sioux Falls homeowners up to $3 million on annual insurance premiums, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Chief Jim Sideras told the Argus Leader newspaper.
The upgrade is the result of numerous factors, according to Sideras — more fire trucks and fire halls, quicker fire response times, improvements to the city’s water distribution system and better communication among city departments.
The improved grade has taken 25 years to achieve and is “truly a testament to the continued hard work of the members of the Sioux Falls Fire Rescue,” Sideras said.
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