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February 22, 2018

Fire Sprinkler Incentives Could Help Save Even More Lives

NFSA,  Feb. 21, 2018

The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) was honored to be part of yesterday’s memorial service held at the site of the Station Fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Fifteen years to the day, organizations came together to remember those who lost their lives, honor those who survived, and share information about fire sprinkler incentives.

“Yesterday was a humbling, peaceful, and successful day in honor of those who gave so much,” stated Shane Ray, NFSA President. “To be present at such a hallowed place with survivors, family members, community members, and the fire service was an absolute honor. To hear some describe the day in a manner that they had reached ‘peace’ with the site, and the fact we finally had an incentive for fire sprinklers in small businesses made all our efforts and investments worth it.”

NFSA joined Common Voices, Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Station Fire Memorial Foundation, National Fire Protection Association, Congressional Fire Services Institute, U.S. Fire Administration, International Association of Fire Chiefs and National Fallen Firefighters Foundation leaders to commemorate the event. Over 100 people attended the national press conference which was streamed live nation-wide.

The NFSA team was led by long-time fire safety advocate Jim Dalton, who spent many days over the past 15 years meeting with legislators, their staffers, and fire service stakeholders who also championed this legislation. He was joined throughout this process by Vickie Pritchett, NFSA Director of Outreach and Government Relations.

“This provision in the tax reform bill will save lives,” said Dalton, NFSA Senior Policy Advisor.

“We are thankful for our partners from the Congressional Fire Services Institute, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Fire Protection Association, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, National Volunteer Fire Council, Common Voices, Security Industry Association, Station Fire Memorial Foundation, Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, and others who championed this tax incentive.”

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act contained several critically important provisions which will provide significant incentives for property owners to install fire sprinklers. Small businesses will now be able to fully expense-in fire sprinklers, under section 179 of the tax code, up to a cap of $1 million in each year of expense. This will allow for the retrofit and upgrading of numerous occupancies such as nightclubs. In addition, small businesses that may need to borrow money to pay for the retrofit will be able to fully deduct the interest expense on the loan.

Advocates and the fire service can now promote fire sprinklers and overall improvements to fire protection in existing small businesses that will prevent loss of life, injuries, emotional distress, bankruptcy, and even imprisonment, all of which occurred in the aftermath of the Station Fire.

These days are behind us, but we will always remember this event and the toll it took on America. We will continue to promote the cause of fire safety. Hand-in-hand with all stakeholders, we will continue to persevere.

About the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA): NFSA was founded in 1905 and wants to create a more fire safe world, and works to heighten the awareness of the importance of fire sprinkler systems from homes to high-rise and all occupancies in between. The Association is an inclusive organization made up of dedicated and committed members of a progressive life-saving industry. This industry manufactures, designs, supplies, installs, inspects, and services the world’s most effective system in saving lives and property from uncontrolled structural fires.

For more information about fire sprinklers, how they work and access to additional resources and information, visit www.nfsa.org for the latest material, statistics and a dedicated team of fire safety advocates ready to serve all stakeholders in order to fulfill the vision of a safer world.

For additional resources visit: www.nfsa.org/tax-reform-resources

Additional links to media coverage of the event:

Click here for a live stream of the memorial service. 

February 22, 2018

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