Asheville Fire Department is Awarded Top Fire Suppression Rating

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

Through dedication and commitment to making our community a safer place to live, the Asheville Fire Department is very proud of this official announcement.  Asheville’s current rating of 2 will officially become a 1 on March 1, 2023.  This improved fire suppression rating not only means AFD is better equipped to respond to emergencies but this better rating continues to significantly lower insurance rates in our city.

“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. An ISO Class 1 rating is a true rarity, 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.

Prepared by the City of Asheville.