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Posted on: February 9, 2024

Municipal Codes Department Improves ISO Building Scores

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NORRISTOWN- The Norristown Department of Buildings & Code Compliance has retained department-best ratings from Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) in the Commercial and Residential classification fields.

Norristown’s commercial and residential classes kept their respective Class 2 and Class 3 ratings since their last ISO evaluation in 2019. With an average score in the mid-80’s for each class, the municipality bested Pennsylvania averages by at least 16 points in each area. 

Compiled under the ISO’s Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) program, BCEGS classifications range from 1-10, with Class 1 rating being the highest. Communities are evaluated based on state and local building code policies and practices in 27 different areas of focus and over 1,240 data points to calculate the scores. The ISO ranked the municipal department in the top five percent of commercial ratings of approximately 35,000 building departments nationwide. 

The review was conducted by ISO staff and included site visits, record examinations and operational observations. 

This is the second time the municipality’s ISO scores improved under BCEGS classification in a number of years. In 2019, BCEGS classification increased from a Class 4 to a Class 2 for commercial and from a Class 5 to a Class 3 for residential, which was the first time their respective scores went up. Now, the scores have increased while still retaining Class 2 (commercial) and Class 3 (residential) ratings. 

“The accomplishment of continuing to enhance our ISO BCEGS classification and scores each time we are evaluated directly reflects the dedication of Municipal Council, Municipal Code Enforcement Manager & Building Code Official Amrinder Singh, and his team’s dedication and commitment to building safety in Norristown. We are working diligently every day to protect life and property,” said Municipal Administrator Crandall O. Jones, ICMA-CM.

The Norristown Department of Buildings & Code Compliance is responsible for safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of approximately 35,000 residents by ensuring that over 10,000 properties/buildings in the Municipality are in compliance with State and Municipal Laws, Codes, and Regulations.

In addition to improving scores for the codes/building department, the ISO in 2022 awarded the Norristown Fire Department a Class 2 rating through the Public Protection Classification (PPC). The evaluation put the Norristown Fire Department in the top five percent of the approximately 40,000 fire departments nationwide, with less than 400 graded as a Class 1 and less than 2,000 graded as a Class 2 and was an increase from Class 3 earned in 2016.

Higher class ratings by the ISO can help homeowner insurance rates due to the implementation of policies and services that ensure proper response to mitigate disasters to buildings.

For more information, please contact the Public Information Office at 610-270-0429.

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