Canfield fire district provides discount for homeowners

By kalea hall


No fire hydrant, no problem. That’s Cardinal Joint Fire District Chief Don Hutchison’s philosophy.

On Sunday, homeowners in Canfield Township — an area with no fire hydrants — could save up to 20 percent on their homeowners insurance thanks to the fire district’s new rating from the Insurance Services Office.

“With the help of our neighboring fire departments we were able to do this,” Hutchison said.

The joint fire district covers the city of Canfield and Canfield Township; both areas are about 25 square miles together. About 40 percent of those areas, mainly Canfield Township, do not have fire hydrants because there are no waterlines for them.

The ISO evaluates fire departments every 10 years, and the lower the rating, the better the score. In 2003, the joint fire district received a fire-suppression rating classification of 4 for the areas with fire hydrants and a rating of 9 for the areas without fire hydrants. Hutchison said a rating of class 10 means there is basically no fire protection in that specific area within five miles.

“We were one step away,” Hutchison said.

To lower the ISO rating in areas without fire hydrants, the fire district added 11 dry hydrants throughout the township. One of the areas where a dry hydrant was placed is on Covington Cove off Western Reserve, where the closest fire hydrant is by the Canfield Fairgrounds on state Route 46.

“Putting a pipe in the pond was the easy part,” Hutchison said. “We had to get easements.”

A dry hydrant is just a piece of pipe that goes underground, and then the firefighters using it can vacuum water from a body of water. The four pumper trucks the district has can load 1,000 gallons a minute from a body of water.

In 2008, the department purchased a tanker that can hold 2,500 gallons of water. The tanker comes with a storage unit for the water so other trucks can vacuum it up and use it.

“Even in places with hydrants you can use this,” Hutchison said.

The work to improve the district’s ISO rating in areas without fire hydrants worked when the ISO evaluated the district in May. The district is now at a rating of 6 in areas without fire hydrants. The other rating of 4 for areas with fire hydrants stayed at a rating of 4, but did increase closer to a rating of 3.

“Jumping from a 9 to a 6, your homeowners insurance should drop 20 percent,” Hutchison said.

In addition to the savings, the dry hydrants and tanker also ensure safety in fighting fires that burn fast and hot.

“You need the speed to get water on there quickly,” Hutchison said.

Most homeowners insurance companies accept ISO ratings.

Any questions, call the Cardinal Joint Fire District at 330-533-4316, ext. 2.

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