Fire sprinkler tax incentives for small businesses

September 18, 2019

Fire service officials: Here’s some news that you can share with local small business owners to encourage them to install fire sprinklers.

Recent federal tax reform legislation — the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — includes incentives that make it more affordable for small business owners to install fire sprinklers. Fire sprinkler systems are the only tool that can reduce the spread of fire, heat and smoke in a building and contain the fire until the fire department arrives. This provides valuable time for employees and customers to escape a fire.

Small businesses can now deduct the expense of installing a fire sprinkler system on their federal taxes. Under Section 179 of the tax code, fire sprinkler installation can be expensed up to $1 million for each year of the expense. This incentive makes it possible for restaurants, retail outlets, night clubs and other small businesses to install, retrofit or upgrade their current fire suppression systems. Also, small businesses can deduct the interest from any loan they receive for this type of renovation.

“I would like to take a moment on behalf of the fire service of our nation to personally thank the Congressional Fire Service Institute, International Association of Fire Chiefs, and National Fire Sprinkler Association for their hard work and dedication in getting major provisions of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act approved. There can be no doubt that with these new incentives, lives will be saved and the destruction from fires will be reduced,” G. Keith Bryant, U.S. Fire Administrator.

Sprinkler incentive legislation was first filed after the Station Nightclub fire in Rhode Island that claimed 100 lives in 2003. A fire sprinkler system could have reduced the heat, flames and smoke from the fire, giving people more time to escape.

To learn more about the available incentives provided in the tax code, and to download outreach materials that you can share with local small businesses, visit the National Fire Sprinkler Association’s website.

Last modified: September 18, 2019

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