Future-Proof Your Business: Retrofitting Life Safety Systems

 As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to save money and make smart investments that can help your company grow. One area where you may be able to save money is through upgrading your life safety systems, including fire sprinkler, fire alarm, special hazard, or security systems. Retrofitting these systems can improve their effectiveness and ensure they meet current safety codes and regulations. 

In this blog, we will explore the various types of retrofitting and tax incentives available to businesses, as well as the importance of upgrading your life safety systems to protect your employees and property.

What Do We Mean by Retrofitting Life Safety Systems?

Retrofitting fire protection systems refers to the process of upgrading or modifying existing fire protection systems to improve their effectiveness and ensure they meet current safety codes and regulations. This may involve replacing outdated equipment, adding new components, or upgrading the entire system to meet the latest standards.

Fire protection systems can include various components such as fire alarms, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and smoke detectors. Retrofitting these systems may involve installing new or additional components to enhance their performance, replacing older equipment that no longer meets safety codes, or updating the entire system to comply with new regulations.

Retrofitting fire protection systems is essential to ensure the safety of building occupants and protect property from fire damage. With advancements in technology and changes in safety regulations, it is important to regularly assess and update fire protection systems to ensure they remain effective and up-to-date.

Tax Incentives for Retrofitting Life Safety Systems

The 2020 Cares Act

Under Section 168 of the CARES Act, businesses can now fully deduct the cost of upgrades to their Life Safety systems if placed into service before the end of 2020. This means that the cost of equipment and labor for your fire sprinkler, fire alarm, special hazard, or security system upgrades can be fully deducted as a business expense in the first year of service. This results in accelerated cash savings and can help provide relief to businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

In addition, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 also provides a tax incentive for business owners who upgrade their existing fire sprinkler systems. This act allows business owners to write off the full cost of commercial fire sprinkler systems as an expense up to $1.04 million and fully deduct the interest expense of any associated loans. This provides an even greater opportunity for business owners to make necessary upgrades to their Life Safety systems while saving money at the same time.

But why should you consider upgrading your Life Safety systems in the first place? The answer is simple: safety. Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding Life Safety System Retrofits: A Guide for Business Owners

Fire Sprinkler Retrofits 

If your business already has a fire sprinkler system in place, you may still benefit from retrofitting it. Retrofits involve upgrading and modifying existing systems to ensure they are up to code and functioning properly. Retrofits can range from replacing corroded pipes and fittings to updating outdated control panels and adding new sprinkler heads. 

Retrofitting your fire sprinkler system not only ensures compliance with fire codes and standards, but also improves the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the system, leading to increased safety for your employees and property.

Fire Suppression Retrofits

Fire suppression systems, such as kitchen hood suppression systems, clean agent systems, and foam systems, are critical in extinguishing fires quickly and efficiently, minimizing damage to property and protecting the safety of employees. If you have an older suppression system in place, it may be time to consider a retrofit to ensure it is up to date and functioning properly. Retrofitting can involve upgrading components such as nozzles, piping, and control panels, as well as replacing outdated systems with newer, more effective ones.

Alarm and Detection Systems Retrofits

Alarm and detection systems are essential in alerting occupants to the presence of fire or other emergencies, allowing them to evacuate quickly and safely. If your existing alarm and detection systems are outdated, it may be time to consider a retrofit. Retrofits can involve upgrading components such as control panels, smoke detectors, heat detectors, and alarms to ensure they meet current fire code requirements and are functioning properly. 

Retrofitting your alarm and detection systems can provide peace of mind that your business and employees are adequately protected in the event of an emergency.

Sound and Communication Retrofits 

Sound and communication systems are essential in facilitating communication and evacuation in the event of an emergency. Retrofitting your sound and communication systems can involve upgrading components such as speakers, intercom systems, and emergency communication devices to ensure they are functioning properly and meet current fire code requirements.

 Retrofitting can also involve adding new systems or components to improve communication and evacuation procedures, such as mass notification systems and emergency lighting.

Integrated Security System Retrofits 

Integrated security systems are becoming increasingly popular in businesses of all sizes, as they provide comprehensive security solutions that can include access control, video surveillance, and intrusion detection. If your existing security system is outdated or does not provide the level of security you require, retrofitting can be an effective solution. Retrofitting your security system can involve upgrading components such as cameras, access control systems, and alarms to ensure they are functioning properly and meet current security standards. 

Additionally, retrofitting can involve integrating multiple security systems into a single, comprehensive system to improve overall security and simplify management.

Why Upgrade Life Safety Systems 

Upgrading your Life Safety systems is crucial for the safety and well-being of your business and employees. Fire sprinkler systems, for example, can prevent fires from spreading and causing significant damage to your building and assets. They can also help prevent injuries and fatalities by providing early warning and suppression of fires.

In addition, as you mentioned, many laws require businesses to retrofit their existing buildings with sprinkler systems. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety of all occupants and visitors to the building. Failing to comply with these laws can result in significant fines and legal penalties, as well as increased liability in the event of a fire or other disaster.

Investing in other Life Safety systems such as fire alarms, special hazard systems, and security systems can also provide numerous benefits. Fire alarms can alert occupants to the presence of a fire and provide critical time for evacuation. Special hazard systems can detect and suppress fires in areas with unique hazards such as chemical storage areas or data centers. Security systems can help deter theft and break-ins, protecting your assets and employees.

Learn More About Fortis

At Fortis, we provide cutting-edge expertise in fire protection planning, design, and construction. We understand the challenges that modern facilities face and utilize our experience to find efficient and cost-effective solutions. From initial planning to acceptance testing and beyond, we offer a comprehensive suite of services.

We utilize the latest in computer-automated design to map out your system so we know the exact specifications before we even set foot on your job site. No need for drawings, we can map your facility and create blueprints from scratch.

We facilitate BIM coordination for new construction projects. We work with your BIM coordinator to load in our plans to avoid structural conflicts before they happen.

Additionally, all of our designers are NICET certified in their respective fields.

Learn more about our fire protection services, here.