Montclair, NJ -- Montclair residents could benefit by lower insurance rates based on a recent upgrade in the Montclair Fire Department's PPO rating.

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) upgraded the Montclair Fire Department’s Public Fire Protection Classification to Class 2. The jump from Class 3 to Class 2 could translate to lower insurance rates for residents and businesses in the Department’s response district, township officials announced.

Out of 684 ISO communities listed in the state of New Jersey, the MFD is among the group of 18 currently holding a Class 2 rating.

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ISO is a leading advisory organization that serves the property and casualty insurance industry by providing statistical information on risk. ISO collects information on fire protection efforts in communities throughout the U.S by conducting a comprehensive review of four areas: the fire department itself, the water supply system, emergency communications and community risk reduction.

ISO then grades a community by using the PPC scale which ranges from 10 to 1 with “1” considered “best in class.” The PPC ratings are then used by some insurance companies to establish premiums for commercial, residential and industrial customers.

“The Class 2 upgrade is a wonderful achievement for our community,” said Mayor Robert Jackson. “It places us in the top 2.6% in the state -- truly a testament to the hard work of our Fire Department and the Township’s commitment to public safety. When (Fire) Chief Herrmann gave me the news I was thrilled. Of course, we immediately shifted the conversation to the roadmap to Class 1 status,” he said.

“A community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses,” said Fire Chief John Herrmann. “The Department is very proud and honored to be able to provide exceptional service to our residents.”