9s and ISO Inspection Information

All Fire Departments in Lincoln County are required to pass both an 9s/9e and ISO inspection. The Office of the State Fire Marshal and Department of Insurance will come to Lincoln County to inspect each fire department when they are due for inspection.

In NC all rural fire departments will be certified with a 9S rating (effective 1987) for insurance grading purposes. This provides for the eligibility of the department's personnel to participate in the Fireman's Pension Fund and the Firemen's Death Benefit Act and the fire department's participation in the Firemen's Relief Fund. The "S" attached to the 9 classification designates that fire department as having met the current, minimum standards for a rated class 9 or split 9 fire department in North Carolina, (Ref.: G.S. 86-25; G.S. 58-84.1; G.S. 143-166.1).

In July, 1991, a plan was established to bring all class 9 or split 9 departments up to a level of 9S or split 9S within a three year period (please refer to the document entitled, New Rating Plan for Class 9S Fire Districts in North Carolina which is available through your Fire Marshal's Office or the Fire and Rescue Services Division).

In 2000 Lincoln County went to what is known as 9s/9e rating. In the past the 9s rating only extended to 5 miles from the fire station. In 2000 the state established 9e which basicly extended the 9s to 6 miles from the fire station to help reduce Class 10 areas.

All Lincoln County fire departments have a split rating which show they have passed the 9s/9e requireemtns and they have meet the ISO requirements for the structures in their district to recieve a lower insurance rating class.

Station 1Denver VFD9s/5
Station 2North Brook VFD9s/7
Station 3East Lincoln VFD9s/5
Station 4Boger City VFD9s/4
Station 5Howards Creek VFD9s/7 - Scheduled for inspection Sept. 2014
Station 6Union VFD9s/5
Station 7South Fork VFD9s/5
Station 8Crouse VFD9s/7
Station 9City of Lincolnton FD4 (They have passed 9 requirements) are not split rated
Station 10North 321 VFD9s/5
Station 11Pumpkin Center VFD9s/6
Station 20Alexis VFD9s (Entire district has a rural rating of 7)


In order for a home owner or business to receive the lower rating the structure (home, business) must be within 1000 feet of a hydrant or recognized rate water point.

The Department of Insurance and ISO Insurance company looks at several things to establish the insurance rating for each fire district. From 0 to 5 miles from the fire station any structure in that area would receive a split rating and could get the lower rating if the structure is within 1000 feet of a hydrant or recognized water point. If the structure is between 5.1 miles to 6 miles even if ther is a hydrant in the area the best rating they can get is a Class 9. If the structure is over 6 miles from the fire station the best rating would be a Class 10. The OSFM/DOI and ISO indiviudals fiqure the district from the fire station by road miles. What they look at is how the fire department has to drive to get to the structure.

In order to better serve the citizens and help lower their insurance rates as money is able fire departmetns are building sub stations, adding equipment and man power to help bring the structure to with 5 miles of the fire station. The fire departments along with Lincoln County are working to do away with all Class 10 areas in the county. This is being done by building sub stations when possible or looking at having another fire department to cover those areas when it is possible.

If you have any questions about your insurance rating please contact the Lincoln County Fire Marshal's Office at (704) 736-8516 or e-mail.