Denham Springs, Louisiana, Improves Fire Rating

June 8, 2011

The city’s fire rating improved to a Class 2 — which means businesses and homeowners could save some money, Denham Springs officials said.

“This is blowing my mind away,” Fire Chief Melvin Wheat said of the new rating.

Ratings range from Class 1, which is the best, to Class 10, and a city’s rating is reviewed every five years.

Only 36 out of 621 departments in the state were rated Class 1 or Class 2 as of November, Wheat said.

Five Louisiana cites have Class 1 ratings. All of those are large cities with big fire departments, he said.

During the evaluation last month, both Wheat and Mayor Jimmy Durbin said they expected the city to maintain its Class 3 rating.

“I was hoping for a high three,” Durbin said. “I’m ecstatic.”

“We worked hard for it,” Wheat said.

That includes improving training, equipment and fire prevention plans at businesses, he said. The department added a ladder truck that it now sends to every fire alarm, the fire chief said.

The fire rating change will mean about a $50-a-year reduction in fire insurance premiums for the owner of a $150,000 brick home, Durbin said.

Information from: The Advocate

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