The Station Nightclub Fire
Fifteen years ago, on February 20, 2003, a fire broke out at the Station nightclub in Rhode Island. Pyrotechnics caused the foam used to soundproof the
walls to start ablaze and within minutes, 100 people died. This tragic occurrence could have been prevented if The Station had a fire sprinkler system installed in the building.
Soon after The Station nightclub tragedy, fire sprinkler tax incentive legislation was introduced to provide an incentive for business owners to install life saving fire sprinkler systems in their buildings. After years of advocating for fire sprinkler tax reform, the Tax Cuts and Job Acts has passed which includes fire sprinkler incentives.
Fire Sprinkler Tax Reform
In the past, many small businesses did not have fire sprinkler systems installed because it may have seemed too costly and not worth the investment. However, Section 179 makes it easy and cost effective for small business owners to retrofit a sprinkler system into their existing building or have a fire sprinkler system installed into a new building. The new legislation allows nightclubs, local restaurants, bowling alleys, and locally owned movie theaters to deduct the cost of fire sprinkler retrofitting in as little as one year. Small businesses can deduct up to $1 million for each year of the fire sprinkler expense and interest on a loan for fire sprinkler installation can also be expensed.
The Importance of Fire Sprinklers
Fire sprinklers are one of the most effective ways to save the lives of people and prevent damage to property during a fire. Sprinkler systems buy time that is critical to saving people’s lives by acting quickly to start putting out a fire before the arrival of the fire station. It is important to keep in mind that installing a fire sprinkler system can also save you money in the long run by preventing costly damage to your property and assets.
The National Fire Sprinkler Association has resources and important information about tax reform for small business owners who are looking to protect the lives of their customers and employees by installing a fire sprinkler system. Refer your tax professional to Section 179 of the tax reform legislation to learn about cost recovery for fire sprinkler system installations. Fire sprinklers are the key to preventing the spread of a fire and saving the lives of many people.