Arrow rightHow FlowMSP Helps With ISO Evaluation Readiness

A fire chief facing an upcoming Insurance Services Office (ISO) evaluation may wonder how FlowMSP helps with ISO evaluation readiness. For departments that typically miss points in pre-planning and company training, FlowMSP’s digital pre-planning program can significantly help.

Influencing the PPC Through Pre-Incident Planning

What is PPC?

The Public Protection Classification (PPC) issued by Insurance Services Office, Inc. is a badge of honor for many fire departments. This classification represents hard work and dedication to excellence in fire suppression (Insurance Services Office, Inc., 2012). 

Further, a department’s pursuit of an improved PPC can be used to justify important fire protection improvements, budgeting, planning, and more. Investing in programs and tools to help lower your PPC while protecting and equipping field personnel makes sense.

How Does FlowMSP Help?

Pre-incident planning tools such as FlowMSP influence the PPC by increasing points in the “Building Familiarization for Pre-Incident Planning Program” section of the ISO evaluation. Indeed, many FlowMSP customers have improved their PPC ratings since purchasing the program.

Briefly, FlowMSP helps in three primary ways: 

  1. Equipping departments to complete NFPA 1620 pre-plans for all commercial structures
  2. Time-stamping updates to pre-plans during yearly inspections
  3. Providing an up-to-date, easily shareable resource for training

Building Familiarization for Pre-Incident Planning Program

Annual pre-incident planning is worth up to 12 points on the ISO evaluation. To earn all 12 points, departments must complete a walkthrough inspection of each institutional, commercial, industrial, and other similar building at least once a year.

According to the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS), frequency of inspections significantly affects the overall pre-planning score outcome. Departments lose points for every year pre-plan inspections are delayed (Insurance Services Office, Inc., 2012).

Frequency of InspectionsPoints
1 year1.00
2 years0.83
3 years0.67
4 years0.58
5 years0.42
More than 5 years0.00

Departments must maintain records of these inspections, including notes, sketches, and other information, which the responding incident commander can access. The pre-planning should follow the NFPA 1620 Standard for Pre-Incident Planning (Insurance Services Office, Inc., 2012, section 580.H).

Calculating the Score

This score is calculated by the following equation:

T8 = Frequency X (Number of Pre-Planned Buildings / Number of Buildings) X 12

(Insurance Services Office, Inc., 2012).

This score may be reduced if accurate records are not kept for all activities.

How to Succeed

This means fire departments need to do three main things to succeed:

  1. Make sure as many buildings as possible are pre-planned
  2. Make sure those buildings are visited every year
  3. Maintain accurate records about these activities

FlowMSP Helps With ISO Evaluation Readiness

Completing Commercial Pre-Plans

FlowMSP helps with ISO evaluation readiness for fire departments in several ways. First, by equipping departments with a tool to easily complete pre-incident plans for all commercial buildings, FlowMSP raises the Number of Pre-Planned Buildings percentage of the equation to 100%.

FlowMSP allows an individual to complete an entire NFPA 1620 pre-plan in just five minutes. Because pre-plan creation takes so little time, departments can deploy field personnel to complete the pre-plans. In this way, they quickly catch up on pre-plan completion goals.

Yearly Inspections

Secondly, FlowMSP time-stamps yearly pre-plan inspections. FlowMSP is currently building administrative reporting tools that will allow departments to generate year-over-year records of building inspections and updates. Customers can expect to see this update early next year.

Coordination of Fire Department Training and Pre-Incident Planning

During the ISO evaluation, a department can earn up to 1 point by demonstrating “a defined procedure to share information and coordinate with training and pre-incident planning programs” (Insurance Services Office, Inc., 2012, section 1024.G). 

Sharing Information

Because FlowMSP customers have unlimited users under one license fee, all personnel at all stations can access FlowMSP pre-plans. In addition, updated pre-incident plans are instantly available to all personnel.

FlowMSP customers can also share pre-incident plans with neighboring departments who respond for mutual aid and auto aid calls. As a result, responding companies can access the same information while executing tactical planning.

Coordinating Training

Many FlowMSP customers use their pre-incident plans to conduct regularly scheduled training sessions. Some departments institute a weekly “Flow Friday” review where they display and discuss a different FlowMSP pre-plan every Friday, logging it as company training.

In addition, some FlowMSP customers assign specific pre-plans to personnel, using a training management program such as Vector Solutions. By regularly reviewing pre-plans and recording these sessions, departments create company training records that help during ISO evaluations.

Preparing for the ISO Evaluation

Departments that wish to lower their PPC can prepare for the ISO evaluation with help from FlowMSP’s implementation team. By making the team aware of specific pre-planning goals, you cue us to adjust strategy and training sessions to suit your needs.

For example, Kankakee Fire Department was able to mobilize field personnel and pre-plan 200 structures in just three weeks by following FlowMSP’s custom plan. As a result, they improved their ISO rating from a 2 to a 1.

PPC improvement through pre-planning is possible. Request a web demo to learn more about how FlowMSP can help your department move forward.


Insurance Services Office, Inc. (2012). Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.


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