To help establish appropriate fire insurance rates for residential and commercial properties, insurance companies need reliable, up-to-date information about a community's fire-protection services. Fire Underwriters Survey provides that information through the Public Fire Protection Classification (PFPC) and Dwelling Protection Grades (DPG) insurance grading systems.

Communities across Canada are assessed and PFPC and DPG grades are calculated by Certified Fire Protection Specialists, Engineering Technologists and Professional Engineers. This information is then published in the online Fire Insurance Grading Index. The information published in the online Fire Insurance Grading Index is used by insurers to determine their underwriting capacities and to help set property insurance rates.

When a community improves its PFPC or DPG, insurance rates may be reduced, and underwriting capacities may increase. Every insurance company has its own formula for calculating their underwriting capacities and insurance rates, however the PFPC and DPG classifications are extremely useful to insurers in determining the level of insurable risk present within a community.