Dublin residents and businesses might see lower insurance premium costs, thanks to a stellar rating the Washington Township Fire Department recently earned.

The fire department was awarded an Insurance Services Office Inc. rating of 1, the highest rating possible.

Washington Township shares this distinction with three other fire departments in the state and 56 departments nationwide, said Leslie Dybiec, township spokesperson.

Whereas the rating is a reflection of the fire department's strength of service, it also could prove a boon to those living and working in Dublin.

Many U.S. insurers of home and business property use the ISO's public protection classifications as part of calculating premiums, Dybiec said. The better the rating for the department, typically, the lower the insurance premium costs for those it serves.

"In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good (public protection classification) is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal," Dybiec said.

The ISO rating is done to help the insurance industry measure a fire department's ability to fight fires and preserve buildings, said Denise Franz King, a Washington Township trustee.

The top rating shows Washington Township's fire department has the right people, dispatching, equipment and training to preserve both life and property in emergencies, King said.

"It's one thing to the business community; it's another thing to the public," King said. "To the public it means we are prepared."

The fire department last received an ISO rating in 2010, said Fire Chief Alec O'Connell. The department requested an updated evaluation because of new efficiencies put into place as well as a change in the method of the evaluation, he said.

"For us, we're always looking to improve ourselves," O'Connell said.

The rating also reflects a dedication on the part of the township to investing in necessary resources, said Michelle Crandall, Dublin assistant city manager.

"Most importantly, this high ratng reflects a focus on best practices when it comes to fire protection and mitigation," she said.