City of Asheville Fire Department is awarded a Class 1 fire rating

The NC Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey announced today that the Asheville Fire Department improved its fire rating from Class 2 to Class 1.


This improved fire suppression rating means not only is AFD better equipped to respond to emergencies, the new top rating should continue to significantly reduce insurance rates in our City. An ISO Class 1 rating is a true rarity, awarded to only a fraction of the top 1% of all fire departments nationwide. It has been awarded to only 329 of the nation’s roughly 45,000 fire departments.

The Asheville Fire Department is very proud of this official designation as it recognizes the dedication and commitment by Asheville firefighters to making the Asheville community a safer place to live.  Asheville’s current fire rating of 2 will officially become a 1 on March 1, 2023. 

“I’d like to congratulate Chief Burnette for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said Commissioner Causey. “The citizens in Asheville should rest easy knowing that they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

State law requires OSFM officials to inspect departments serving districts of 100,000 people or less as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System. Among other things, the routine inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of water sources.  

“This win is not just for our fire department but for our city and our community as well and is a reflection of all of our firefighters. Our firefighters are the ones that are doing the work. They are reducing the risk in our community. They are doing the training. They are responding to these emergencies 24 hours a day. Our firefighters are the ones that made this happen.” says Chief Burnette. “I cannot be more proud of our firefighters and the Asheville Fire Department than I am today.”


The North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS) is a division of the Department of Insurance (DOI). NCRRS inspects fire departments and grades them based on their resources and ability to fight structural fires. NC Response Rating System rates 1,533 fire departments in North Carolina;  A community’s protection class rating is among the factors used to determine local residential and commercial insurance rates. No fire department just gets to the top, it clearly has to earn it.