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City residents could pay up to 3 percent more for their fire insurance if Naples does not come into compliance with 2012 state fire prevention codes.
A visit to Naples this month by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), a national organization that rates fire districts on their abilities to fight fires, predicted Naples would drop one point on its 10-point scale, with 10 being the worst.
But that's an improvement from their preliminary visit, said Naples Fire Chief Steve McInerny, who originally predicted the city could fall from its score of 2 to a score of 4.
"It's good news, so we're quite pleased," he said.
A 2010 study commissioned by the city said a two-point drop could have resulted in an 11-percent spike in fire insurance costs.
McInerny said the final rating will come from ISO in a few months, once the recommendation has been through its New Jersey headquarters.
The city will get a final chance to make additional improvements before the ratings are published.
"Our deficiencies will be spelled out, and we'll be given some time to work on them," McInerny said. "Then we'll determine as a city if we're satisfied with a 3 or a 2."
Since Naples was last rated 20 years ago, the city has annexed 23 properties and lost two firefighter positions.
Naples is still not in compliance with the new Florida code, which dictates how much water must be available to fight fires in newly built homes of a certain square footage.
Dozens of new homes built in the city this year don't meet those requirements.
A new engine for Fire Station 2 at the north end of the city arrived in Florida last week and is expected to help improve the city's ISO rating. It will be operational in Naples by December.
"It just takes time to get these things in motion, but we've been working on it since 2010," McInerny said. "It improves the readiness of the fire department."