yet to comply with the city’s Life Safety Evaluation (LSE), help may be on the way from the federal government. Fire sprinklers are one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods to help buildings to pass the LSE and now they could be an even more beneficial option due to the filing of the 2015 Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act (FSIA). On September 22, the FSIA was filed to encourage building owners to invest in life-saving fire safety upgrades. It strengthens tax incentives for building owners to retrofit their buildings with life- and property-saving fire sprinklers. Currently, commercial building owners must depreciate fire sprinkler retrofits over a period of 39 years and residential building owners over 27-1⁄2 years. The FSIA reclassifies fire sprinkler retrofits as 15-year depreciable property, allowing businesses to more quickly receive tax benefits. The FSIA was filed as S. 2068 by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Delaware), while also being introduced as H.R. 3591 by Representatives Tom Reed (R-New York) and Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island). The original FSIA was introduced in 2003 following the tragic Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island, that claimed 100 lives. Since then, the legislation has been reintroduced in subsequent Congresses with various changes made to address concerns regarding cost estimates. In Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s prior role as a U.S. Representative, he had joined as a co-sponsor of the original bill in 2003, and again in 2005 and 2007. Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board believes now is the time for Mayor Emanuel to once again show his support and, together with the City Council, call on Illinois’ Congressional delegation to back the bill. “Mayor Emanuel now has a positive federal tool to help the residents and owners of residential and commercial high-rises to comply with the Chicago Substitute Ordinance requiring a Life Safety Evaluation that can be passed with a retrofit of fire sprinklers,” says Lia. “The paradigm has now turned where people can get assistance to do what will make their building the most fire safe, even in the space where they live, by installing fire sprinklers.”  ]]>