The city of St. Helena has received improved grades from the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) for the quality of how its Building Department enforces its codes through planning reviews and field inspections.
ISO is an insurer-supported organization with the primary mission of providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers. ISO evaluates a community’s building-code adoption, Building Department staff qualifications, code enforcement services, and other factors to determine a Building Code Effectiveness Classification from 1 to 10. The classification of 1 (exemplary enforcement) is the highest classification possible in the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) program.
The city was graded a 2 for single and duplex residential properties, and a 2 for commercial and industrial properties. This is an improvement of the previous classification of 3, held since 2010.
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“This is exciting news,” said Mayor Geoff Ellsworth. “I am very proud of our city staff and Chief Building Official Philip Henry for his leadership and efforts to improve the safety of our buildings.”
ISO evaluates approximately 15,000 building departments across the country, with less than 20% achieving a 1, 2, or 3 classification. Insurers and individual policyholders benefit from reduced losses in communities with favorable classifications. Effective code enforcement leads to safer buildings, less damage from catastrophes, and lowered insured losses.