As Station Nightclub Anniversary Approaches, Langevin Announces Fire Safety Bill

Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act would help with costs of fire prevention.


Ahead of tomorrow’s tenth anniversary of the Station Night Club fire in West Warwick that killed 100 people and left hundreds more injured, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) has announced he will reintroduce legislation that would reduce the cost and impact of fires by encouraging the placement of automatic sprinklers in all multi-unit residential and commercial structures.

The Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act was inspired by the 2003 fire and findings that thousands of Americans lose their lives each year because of buildings that lack adequate fire prevention systems. The legislation, which has received support from the American Fire Sprinkler Association and the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs, allows small and medium size property owners to fully deduct the cost of installing sprinkler systems up to $500,000 and would cover most high fire risk properties, such as off campus housing, night clubs, and assisted living facilities.

“The tenth anniversary of the tragic Station Night Club Fire serves as a somber reminder of the devastating consequences that are possible without sufficient fire prevention systems,” said Langevin, who was selected by AFSA as its Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year in 2007 for his leadership on this issue. “As my heart continues to go out to the survivors and families affected by that horrific event, I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can recognize that fire sprinklers save lives. We must ensure property owners and small businesses have the ability to protect their buildings and, more importantly, the people who use them.” 

The National Fire Protection Association issued a study in June 2007 that concluded that in buildings with sprinklers, the death rate per fire can be reduced by 57 percent and the property damage decreased by up to 68 percent. Every year there are more than 3,200 civilian deaths, approximately 100 firefighter line-of-duty deaths, and more 16,000 injuries because of inadequate fire prevention systems in buildings across the country.

Current building codes for newly constructed properties require sprinklers in many of the most vulnerable occupancies like student housing, high rise commercial buildings, entertainment complexes, and high rise residential facilities. However, there are thousands of structures that were built before sprinklers were required, putting those who occupy them at a higher and unnecessary risk. Under current depreciation rules, building owners have a strong disincentive to invest in a sprinkler system given the 39 year depreciation schedule for commercial buildings and 27.5 year schedule for residential structures.

Langevin’s bill includes automated fire sprinkler systems as section 179 property, allowing small and medium sized businesses to fully expense the cost of a sprinkler retrofit for structures as large as 50,000 square feet. High rise buildings will also see their depreciation schedule for installed sprinklers decreased to 15 years. 

coventry voter-Jay February 19, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Shamefull that he is doing this on nearly the same day. This is not going to pass beacuse the cost is sataggering to the end user. He knows it as it had the same result the last time he put it in. It is self promotion at best
Leave RI February 20, 2013 at 12:25 AM
This guy will do anything for a free scene steal. Can't wait for the next major scene stealing event.
Cadre February 20, 2013 at 02:05 AM
in response to these two loving individuals above me.(Coventry Voter-Jay + Leave RI) lets begin with an excerpt from Proverbs 15:1 -- “A gentle answer turns away wrath” Councilors are known to help those people who embody pessimistic and narcissistic characteristics. Not that I am identifying you two auspicious blog jockeys as pessimistic and/or narcissistic, I am here only to insist that there is still hope for you. and I hope you get it. Godspeed. As for Congressman Langevin, I commend him for his progressive persistence in his efforts towards making our society more safe, and less "stone-age-like," place to live.
Leave RI February 20, 2013 at 02:28 AM
It's "when" he does what he does..not "what" he does that makes him what he is..the guy has no fore sight..if there was a big news issue dealing with stealing lollipops, he would then create a news release about a bill making lollipop stealing a big deal.. James 4:17 - Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin. dumpster diving at its finest..I thought you were above it.
Cadre February 20, 2013 at 02:31 AM
calm down. You're angry again.
Cadre February 20, 2013 at 02:40 AM
John February 22, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Wow coventry voter-Jay and Leave RI You guys are real haters no matter what topic!! Get a life!


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