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Handy Tips for Using PROTECTION and PropertyEDGE™

November 20, 2014

If you are a WSRB Subscriber, you probably use PROTECTION or PropertyEDGE™, our two programs for finding Protection Class (PC) information and other data in Washington State and beyond.

Although our GIS department is constantly updating these map-based systems, you still may occasionally come across a property that doesn’t show up. Over the years, our Customer Service team has developed some tricks of the trade that we’d love to share to make your job easier:

  • Use abbreviations (Ave instead of Avenue): Our addresses come from county assessors, who generally use abbreviations. When you enter an address, the closer it is to the assessor’s, the more likely our system will find it.
      • Hint: One common abbreviation head-scratcher is State Route. Try SR!
      • Exception—because there’s always one: Write out the word Loop.
  • Enter the Zip Code, but leave city name blank: Many times, an address doesn’t come up because it doesn’t match the city entered; a property that is between two cities may be commonly considered part of one city but technically assigned to another. Zip Codes are more precise, so you have a better chance of finding the property.
  • Find a PC even without an address match: If you know exactly where a property is but the address isn’t found, you can still get a PC.
      • In PROTECTION, you can zoom to a Public Land Survey (Section, Township, and Range), Zip Code, or Lat Long to help target the area. Then, Turn Map Select ON to get a PC anywhere you click on the map.
      • In PropertyEDGE™, zoom to Zip Code, Lat Long, or PLSS (Section, Township, and Range). Use Geocode Point to click on the map and get information about PC, soil type, active wildfires, distance to fault lines, census data, and much more.




  • Check if the property is part of a new development: A new address may not yet be in the county assessor’s system, which means it won’t be in ours either. Contact our Customer Service department and we can find the exact placement. We may ask for parcel number, PLSS, owner’s name, or other identifying information so we can make sure we’re giving you the correct answer.
  • Look at the Geocode Data Source: Sometimes, a warning will come up in PROTECTION to let you know that there may not be an exact match. This typically happens in areas where assessor’s parcel data is unavailable and our system must rely on external services, such as Bing, to locate the address. That doesn’t mean the answer is wrong, but we recommend you carefully review the map image to visually verify we have placed the address correctly. You are always welcome to call Customer Service if you don’t feel confident that it’s the right location.
Geocode Data Match warning

Geocode Data Match warning

  • Let us know if we’re missing a hydrant: There are hundreds of thousands of hydrants in Washington State, and although we work very hard to capture them all, sometimes we miss one. If you can provide us with the exact placement —a picture of the location, or a description like “SW corner of Main St and 1st Ave N”—we’ll give you a corrected PC and add the hydrant to our system with our monthly updates.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact us! WSRB Customer Service is happy to help you with any questions you might have. Call us at 206-217-0101 or send an email. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm PT.
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