CRESTVIEW — The North Okaloosa Fire District, with Auburn Water Systems' help, seeks to add five fire hydrants within its coverage area.
"Our board (of commissioners) sets aside about $10,000 to put hydrants in older areas or areas that don't have hydrants," as needed, fire Chief Ed Cutler said.
The working relationship between NOFD and Auburn Water has been beneficial, he said.
"They are giving us a really good price, because they are subsidizing the cost themselves ... and providing the labor," Cutler said.
"With the difference between the fire district's contribution and the actual cost for five hydrants and accessories, plus our labor costs to install the hydrants, our part will exceed ($)10,000," Doug Sims, Auburn Water Systems' general manager, said in an email.
Cutler said his department is working with Auburn Water to determine the hydrants' best location.
He is expected to announce the locations at a future commission meeting, but the Auburn area and Lake Silver Road are among potential sites.
Regardless of the selections, homeowners always have the option of paying for their own hydrants, which can assist firefighters during emergencies.
Although the cost of the hydrant and the necessary parts would cost between $2,500 and $3000, its presence would lower homeowner's insurance premiums.
"We've heard (of) people saving as much as a thousand a year," Cutler said.
A homeowner's association or group of neighbors could self-fund the hydrant if one household alone can't afford the cost.
A higher number of hydrants in an area correlates with an improved Insurance Service Office rating. Property insurance companies use ISO ratings, based on several factors, to set premiums.
"Fifty percent is based on the fire department, meaning the number of firefighters, fire stations and equipment," Cutler said.
ISO ratings also factor in the water system and its dispatch.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.