Eric Smith, Fire Chief
8 School St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Monday, Jan. 22, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Gloucester Fire Department Advises Businesses of New Tax Savings Opportunity for Improved Fire Safety
GLOUCESTER — Chief Eric L. Smith and the Gloucester Fire Department are seeking to share a new tax credit opportunity that gives business owners incentive to retrofit their buildings with potentially lifesaving and property-saving sprinkler systems.
Changes to the tax code give an opportunity for owners who seek to install or have installed sprinkler systems in existing buildings after September 27, 2017, to deduct the cost of retrofits as a Section 179 expense.
Supported by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) and other fire service organizations, the tax-policy change allows businesses, restaurants, bars and other establishments to protect employees, customers, property and firefighters.
“This is a historic shift in the tax code that stands to benefit every business,” Chief Smith said. “We want to urge local business owners to take advantage of this and reach out to the fire department with any questions. Not only will they be getting an incentive, but they’ll also be protecting themselves and others by assuring their sprinkler system is updated and adequate.”
According to the IAFC, the new tax incentive has been in the making since 2003 when the IAFC urged Congress to pass the provision after the devastating Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island that year. The nightclub did not have a sprinkler system.
The Station fire killed 100 and injured more than 200, making it the deadliest fire in that state’s history and second deadliest in New England history, surpassed only by Boston’s 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire, which killed nearly 500 people.
For more information on the new tax law, please read the IAFC’s official announcement, or view the NFSA’s information page. For questions or concerns, please contact the Gloucester Fire Department at 978-281-9760 ext. 2.