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ISO Looking for Comments

Changes to the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule Needs Comments

The Building Official and Fire Code Official (AKA the Fire Marshal) are key in reducing the exposure a community has to fire and life safety in the built environment.  ISO is a key tool utilized by many insurance carriers that provides evaluation and grading based on fire department.   If we can reduce our communities overall cost (not just taxes) we are helping our community become competitive!

The Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) assesses building codes and amendments adopted in a particular community and evaluates that community’s commitment to enforce them.

The concept is simple: Municipalities with well-enforced, up-to-date codes should demonstrate better loss experience, and insurance rates can reflect that. The prospect of reducing damage and ultimately lowering insurance costs provides an incentive for communities to enforce their building codes rigorously.

Building officials, community leaders, and insurers have made suggestions for the improvement of the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) program. Here are some suggested revisions for your review that ISO is considering.

  • Calculations;  Adjust the calculations to let communities with strong enforcement activities achieve more favorable classifications even if they haven’t adopted the latest model code.
  • Include a section on community risk reduction.
  • Code Adoption; The BCEGS program should continue to encourage the unamended adoption of the latest nationally promulgated codes. The program should continue to reflect codes that local and state governments have amended, which reduce the codes’ ability to mitigate potential hazards. However, strong enforcement efforts combined with unamended adoption of a previous code edition may still be able to receive a favorable BCEGS classification.
  • Checklists; Eliminate the reliance on checklists for both plan review and inspection.

ISO needs your feedback on the schedule.  Why not provide them feedback and feel free to copy your comments below!

    BCEGS Explaining the Classifications

    Provide feedback to ISO in regard to the BCEGS

    What are your thoughts will this help reduce the cost of building safety and inspection on a community?

    { 3 comments… add one }

    • walfredo Velasco Lacsam December 6, 2010, 10:27 am

      CALCULATIONS- The Building Processes must be passing through its Officials Disk of Safety Enforcement, it shall be harmonize with the safety policy and procedures regarding the issuance of Permit, any lacking requirement must be completed before the approval of any offices concerned. The Owner must be directly informed.

      CODE ADOPTION: Correctness on the enforcement of the codes applications on subject checklist shall clearly define/specific on building plan evaluation WHILE final inspection compliance MUST be more strictly enforce before the issuance of OCCUPANCY.

      INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS: It is true that some building erected was not insured, it is therefore one specific documents to check and regulate before building permit is issued (but of course there is ceiling limit of amount of building construction one million and above) shall have an attachment of Insurance Policy Documents and strictly enforce regulating fire insurance incentives.

    • Les Williamson December 8, 2010, 11:09 am

      It is my opinion that the benefits of effective and efficient fire inspection and public education programs should be considered when determining ISO ratings. The benefit this has on the safety of buildings has been long overlooked. A department that has a very active inspection program that ensures buildings are safe and fire protection systems are working or prepared to work properly should be given some sort of credit for their departments ISO rating. Just as ISO looks at tactical surveys and their frequency ISO should look at actual fire and life safety inspections and the frequency that they are performed. Lets face it in many departments ISO is the only thing that drives many departments to improve their capabilities. Some departments place inspection and public education on the back burner and its a low prioirty for funding. My suggestion is the frequency of annual fire inspection on properties and monitoring third party inspections of various fire protections systems and a prgram to deal with any deficiencies found should be evaluated.

      • Mike Wheeler December 13, 2010, 4:55 pm

        I agree – had the the City of Charleston, S.C., ISO Class 1, not discontinued annual inspections, it is likely that many of the factors contributing to the tragic fire at the Super Sofa store would have been addressed before that fateful day. Property losses could have been minimized and the unnecessary loss of life possibly eliminated.

        Fire prevention efforts are the first to be sacrificed during difficult financial times. When Fire Department budgets need to be reduced more often than not fire prevention programs are cut. Improved ISO ratings for annual inspection programs, annual 3rd party inspection programs for fire protection systems, public fire education programs and maintaining current codes would go along way towards reducing fire losses and saving many fire prevention programs that otherwise will be lost.

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