CARES Act Tax Deductions for Businesses

CARES Act Tax Deductions are Available for Your Business!

In March of 2020, during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES” Act. The aim was this bill was to provide tax relief for businesses affected by the coronavirus by applying tax breaks. These CARES Act tax deductions include any upgrades to fire sprinklers, fire alarms, special hazard safety systems, and security that took place during 2020. Organizations like the NFSA pushed for this opportunity, but there is still much to be done about informing business owners.

To get a better idea of how the process works, please refer to the table below that shows example figures and their deductibles. Much of the process is accelerated. Normally, the deductions are spread over 39 years, but thanks to Section 168, you can deduct all equipment and labor expenses from the first year.

CARES Act Tax Deduction Table

Table courtesy of American Fire Protection Group Inc.

What is Covered by the CARES Act?

With CARES Act tax deductions available, it is also important to understand what all may qualify. Those who are eligible are based on the following criteria:

  • Total replacement of old pipe (Dry Attic or Wet Systems that are corroded/nonfunctional)
  • Updating a Dry Valve or Wet Riser Valve
  • Updating a Dry System Air Compressor to a Nitrogen Generator
  • Upgrading existing sprinkler heads
  • Upgrading existing Dry Pendants
  • Upgrading an existing underground supply
  • Upgrading an existing schedule system to ESFR for today’s storage heights and commodity (insurance companies are now requiring this for commercial business)
  • Installing fire protection systems in existing buildings that were previously not protected
  • Upgrading fire alarm panels
  • Special Hazard Systems Upgrades

A Few More Things to Know

  • The CARES Act includes a full tax deduction for equipment and labor costs for life safety system upgrades on commercial properties.
  • Savings are retroactive for system upgrades implemented after January 1, 2018.
  • There is no maximum purchase amounts.

Next Steps

If you believe that your life safety upgrades qualify, we encourage you to visit home.treasury.gov for more information on what actions your business needs to take to receive its CARES Act tax deductions. Additionally, if you are looking to have your systems upgraded, contact us for a quote.

Portable Fire Pump – WSFP Portland

The Portland Fire Pump Project

On a cloudless and sunny fall afternoon, the Portland office hums with excitement. 9-year WSFP veteran, Cory Wallace, is preparing one of his two portable fire pumps to ship out to a new job site. These fire pumps, which Cory built to fit inside of a towable trailer, have been filling a much-needed purpose on the Northwest Coast, which to put it simply – is keeping businesses afloat. Cory recognized that there were supply and demand issues when it came to diesel engines and pumps that keep water sources, specifically water reserves for fire protection systems, pressurized and running. When asked about the functionality of the pump, Cory stated “it’s a fully functioning fire pump room inside this mobile unit. They’re great for repairs and long lead items on new construction too, which is a big thing right now.”

When is a Fire Pump Needed?

When it comes to fire safety, facilities are not allowed to run without the proper protection in place. This puts facilities in a bind when their fire pumps fail or can delay a new facility from starting operations if they are unable to get one promptly. That’s what sparked the inspiration for Cory and why Portland is trying to create a “plug and play” solution for emergency fire protection.

The design of the fire pump models a permanent pump and engine. Both were fit into a trailer with reinforced flooring and contain all UL-listed parts, meeting all code requirements. In addition to all the required specs, lighting and temperature controls were added to the trailer, making it more comfortable for long-term renters. The trailer possesses a hitch for easy towing and shipment which allows for WSFP Portland to “really go anywhere with it,” according to Cory, and they have already seen major success across the country. Notably, these fire pumps have been in use more than they have been stored at the office, and have been shipped as far east as Arlington, Virginia. Other notable projects include the Microsoft facility in Washington, which has also played host to one of the pumps.

Portable and Accessible Anywhere

Part of the immense success that the Portland office has had renting out these fire pumps is due to a lack of accessibility in the market. Cory claims that to his knowledge “in the Northwest, this [fire pump] is the only one.” Since there is such a scarcity, it allows WSFP to emerge as the leader in this sub-industry. As the Portland office continues to find renters in need of mission-critical solutions, they hope to expand their reach further, and hopefully, market demand will allow for more pumps in commission. Either way, this is an incredible first step to providing a much-needed service to our communities and an excellent display of leadership and forward-thinking by our Portland staff.

WSFP’s mission is all about Protecting Lives and Property, so if you need a fire pump or have other fire protection/prevention needs then please contact us! We provide all design, service, repair, and inspections in-house, saving your company time and money. Click here, to receive a quote.

Protecting Lives and Property in Denver, CO

Fire Protection Services for the Mile High City

At Western States Fire Protection, protecting lives and property has always been our goal. Our Denver location has been helping us with this goal from the inception of our company as one of the first locations we opened. The Western States Fire Protection team in Denver provides world-class fire protection services to residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Full-Service Fire Protection

Providing inspections, testing, and service of your fire protection systems is something that our Denver location excels at. Inspections and testing of your fire protection systems are critical for helping ensure that your systems are in proper condition, comply with regulations, and will function for years to come. WSFP Denver can provide inspections for all your fire protection systems including:

  • Alarm & Detection
  • Wet, dry, pre-action, and deluge fire sprinklers
  • Special hazards suppression systems
  • Antifreeze systems
  • Backflow devices
  • Fire hydrants
  • Fire pumps, and more.

WSFP provides scheduled service for your systems in addition to 24-hour emergency service for customers in Denver and the surrounding areas.

Fire Protection System Design & Installation

Western States can provide the design and installation of fire protection systems. We can install fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm and detection systems, and fire suppression systems including clean agent and special hazards systems. We have experience working on unique and challenging projects in the Denver area. Whether you have a commercial, industrial, or residential property, we will work with you to design a fire protection solution that fits the needs of your application.

Contact Us for Fire Protection Service in Denver

Looking for a fire protection provider in the Denver area? WSFP is ready to help you with your fire protection needs. We have a large team of over 150 employees that cover the Denver Metro areas and the I-70 corridor from Utah to Kansas. We provide comprehensive fire protection service including design, installation, inspections and testing, repairs, and emergency service. We offer ongoing service contracts to make it easier for you to take care of your fire protection systems. To learn more, contact us today or give us a call at 303-792-0022.

Fire Prevention Week 2022

Fire Prevention Week 2022

October 9th-15th, 2022, is Fire Prevention Week (FPW). This year marks the 100th anniversary of FPW. The NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week since 1922, and it was made a national observance in 1925. Fire Prevention Week is observed during the week of October 9th, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire which began on October 8, 1871. This devastating fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed more than 17,400 structures. The goal of FPW is to teach the public how to stay safe in case of a fire. This year’s theme is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape. ™”

Plan & Prepare for Home Fires

Today’s homes burn much faster than older homes. You may have as little as 2 minutes to safely escape a fire in your home after the smoke alarm goes off.

You, your family, and your loved ones must take the steps needed to be prepared when a fire occurs. Your safety depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advanced planning. Plan and practice your home fire escape plan before a fire occurs. Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out.

Make a Home Fire Escape Plan

Take the time to make a home fire escape plan for your home. Once you have a plan created, practice your home escape plan twice a year. Here are some steps you can follow to make a thorough home escape plan:

  1. Draw a map of all the rooms in your home.
  2. Mark two exits from each room (usually a door and a window). Mark a path from each exit to the outside.
  3. Include the location of all smoke alarms in your home.
  4. Choose an outside meeting place in front of your home where everyone will meet upon exiting.
  5. Add “911” or the local emergency number to your plan.
  6. Plan to call that number from a neighbor’s phone or a cell phone once you get outside.

Are Your Smoke Alarms Ready?

Mere seconds can differentiate a fire escape and a fire tragedy. When every second counts, early warning of a fire is critical. Smoke alarms can sense smoke before you can, but you must take care of them so that they will work when needed. Test your smoke alarm once a month and replace the batteries if they stop working.

You should have smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (such as a hallway), and on each level (including the basement) of your home. Don’t put smoke alarms in kitchens and bathrooms. Choose an alarm that is listed with a testing laboratory, meaning it has met certain standards for protection.

Install combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout your home so that when one sounds, they all sound, and everyone can hear them no matter where you are in the home.

If you are interested in learning more about fire safety or Fire Prevention Week, visit the NFPA’s website.

The Future of STEM

The Future of STEM is in Good Hands!

Some employees at Western States have been leading the charge for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Two of our Project Managers from Denver, Colleen Den Adel and Sarah Hansen, have been involved with a group called STEMblazers which is an organization that aims to inspire middle school and high school girls to pursue careers within the STEM field. With the future of STEM in rapid expansion, we are optimistic about what positive changes can be made. STEMblazers has chapters all over the state of Colorado, and with it rapidly expanding, a lofty goal to reach 1 million female students by the year 2030 has been set, and Western States’ finest will ensure that goal is met!

Colleen and Sarah help to run meetings a few times a month at Sky View Academy which consists of both middle school and high school students. At their meetings, they hear from various successful women in the STEM industry and engage the students with hands-on activities relevant to the speaker’s topic. “We are encouraged by their willingness to ask questions to the guest speakers and participate in the hands-on activities. It has been really great to see the girls explore, or at least think about, a new career possibility,” Hansen mentioned.

Both in their second year as mentors for the program, Colleen and Sarah saw a lot of success with their efforts last year, but their endeavors have not gone without obstacles. Dealing with a lot of student turnover from the previous year, they are having to adapt and roll with the punches to keep kids engaged at their meetings. When asked about their impact and approach Hansen said: “Our goal is to provide these girls with exposure to various opportunities within the industry and inspire them to pursue these careers with confidence.”

Even with the ups and downs, Sarah and Colleen are helping to make strides not only for young women but for the STEM field as a whole. Any industry can benefit from diversity and the perspective it brings. In an industry underrepresented by women (only 27% of STEM workers and only 11% of construction workers are women), the efforts of Den Adel and Hansen will hopefully contribute to the eventual redistribution of employment in the field and open more opportunities for women in a previously male-dominated industry. With such amazing leaders, it is safe to say that the future of STEM is in good hands!

If you are feeling inspired and would like to seek employment/leadership opportunities, you too can apply and become a rockstar with us! Visit this page to see what openings we have. We would love to hear from you!

Is Your Multifamily Home Protected From Fires?

Multifamily Home Fire Protection

Are you practicing fire safety in your home? What about the hundreds of other residents living in your multifamily complex? Living in an apartment, condominium, or any additional multifamily residency has a few different fire safety measures than an individual family home. According to a study done by NFPA, apartments made up 29 percent of reported residential fires. Multifamily residency homes may cause larger-scale damage due to more occupants and larger properties. With more people and assets present, multifamily home fire protection is important to keep up to date.

What Systems Should Be Present in a Multifamily Residence?

When more people live in the same building using heat, electricity, and other appliances more fire protection is needed. You should not have to worry about the unit next to, beneath, or above you. The following fire protection systems installed into multifamily residence homes are meant to protect the numerous amounts of people living in them.

  • Fire alarm systems
  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Fire hydrants
  • Fire pumps
  • Kitchen hood fire suppression systems

What Systems Should Be Regularly Inspected for Proper Operation?

Does your apartment or condo have all the fire systems it should? When were they last inspected? All of your systems are essential in their own way, which is why it is essential to have them inspected.

Fire alarms: Fire alarms need to be working in every unit and on every level to alert occupants of an emergency. Inspecting fire alarms means ensuring the sound and light alarms will work appropriately in time of need. The detection system needs to be checked regularly by a professional team.

Fire sprinklers/systems: Fire sprinklers must be inspected regularly for leaks, cracks, or damage that may interfere with the function of the system. Sprinkler inspections, testing, and maintenance should be completed professionally and follow the NFPA 25 standards.

Kitchen hood systems: Kitchen hood systems should be inspected regularly for blockage, or damage to the equipment, and repairs should be done by a technician team. Your inspections/services should be done by a trustworthy fire protection company for the best and safest results.

WSFP Multifamily Residence Inspections and Services

Western States Fire Protection has the experience and expertise in multifamily home fire protection and can fulfill all needs for your fire system’s inspections and services. Family residencies we can provide inspections and services for include apartments, condominiums, townhomes, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities, hotels, and more. WSFP gives efficient and courteous services for your system’s issues and allows you to feel safe while continuing with your daily activities. At WSFP, we also have a 24/7 response team ready to assist you in case of a fire system emergency. Contact Western States Fire Protection today to schedule your multifamily residence fire systems inspections and services.

Dallas, Texas Fire Protection

Texas Fire Protection is in Great Hands!

When it comes to protecting your life and the lives of your building’s occupants, it is important to have a trusted fire protection team behind your back. At Western States Fire Protection of Dallas, we have a dedicated team working to provide your fire protection needs. Addressing Texas Fire Protection needs, you can feel safe knowing you have an experienced team to provide, install, and service the fire safety systems needed for your business or home. At the Dallas/Grand Prairie location, we offer our customers access to TXMAS-approved pricing. This allows our customers to get specialized rates and accelerated services in the fire protection field.

Industries We Serve

At WSFP we serve many types of customers, including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Our Dallas location serves a lot of commercial businesses.

Our most frequent customer types include, but are not limited to:

  • Data centers
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Office Buildings

Fire Protection Products and Services in Dallas

At WSFP of Dallas, we provide many fire protection products and services. The most frequent products provided by this location are fire sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. All of which can be designed and installed by our experienced team of technicians. The fire protection systems and products we offer include:

  • Fire sprinkler design systems and installations,
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Fire extinguishers

Our Dallas team is also capable of providing:

Contact Your Dallas, TX (Grand Prairie) Location

If you are looking for a fire protection team in the Dallas, TX area, we have a WSFP team ready to help. At this location, we serve Dallas, Arlington, Dallas, Irving, and the surrounding areas. Contact our Dallas, TX location at 214-634-7562 or fill out our service form on our website for assistance.

How Frequently Should You Get Your Fire Extinguisher Inspected?

We all hope that we will never need to use our fire extinguishers, but it is important to have peace of mind that your fire extinguisher will work if you need it. Fire extinguishers should not only be inspected for proper functioning before they are installed but also on a regular basis afterward. Generally, this means checking it on a monthly basis. A regular fire extinguisher inspection requires certain procedures to help ensure that your extinguisher is able to help you in times of emergency.

Why is it Necessary to a Fire Extinguisher Inspection?

There are several reasons you should be inspecting your fire extinguishers on a regular basis, which include:

  1. To help make sure your fire extinguisher is properly working in a time of need
  2. To keep your fire extinguisher up to codes
  3. To check for rust, corrosion, or other damage that may cause malfunctions
  4. To check that it is full
  5. To check that your extinguisher is accessible and easy to reach location
  6. To put you at ease knowing you have access to a first line of defense device for small fires

National Fire Protection Association Requirements (NFPA 10)

NFPA 10 is the code for standard portable fire extinguishers. NFPA has certain codes of procedures, frequencies, and recordkeeping for fire extinguishers.

Procedures of a Fire Extinguisher Inspection:

  • Ensure there is easy access to the fire extinguisher (typically somewhere in regular paths of travel)
  • Make sure it is in its proper location
  • Make sure it is visible and properly labeled
  • Make sure the pressure gauge is in the correct functioning range and position
  • Make sure it is at its full capacity
  • Operate non-rechargeable extinguishers push-to-test pressure indicators
  • Check that wheeled extinguishers have functional tires, hoses, and nozzles

Frequency of Inspections:

  • Extinguishers should be inspected when they are initially installed
  • They should be regularly checked on a monthly basis
  • Extinguishers in areas prone to higher rust, tampering, or impact should be inspected more frequently

Records of the Inspection:

  • Records should be taken of each monthly inspection
  • A label or tag should be made for the extinguisher and should also be filed on paper or electronically
  • The record must include the month, year, and person conducting the inspection

Repairs and Service

Any repairs or service that needs to be done upon inspection should be done by a certified professional. Service should be performed according to procedures stated by NFPA 10 and be recorded.

Western States Fire Protection Fire Extinguisher Inspections

With a better understanding of the importance of regular fire extinguisher inspections, now is the time to set up your regular checks. At Western States Fire Protection, we offer inspections weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and annually, depending on current codes and insurance policies. With fire extinguishers, we can set your monthly fire extinguisher inspections that follow these NFPA 10’s codes. With portable fire extinguisher inspections, we also provide our customers with hands-on training on what they need to know. Schedule an inspection from your nearest WSFP office to help make sure your extinguishers are able to help you in times of emergency.

Construction Safety Week

Construction Safety Week

The first week of May is Construction Safety Week! At Western States Fire Protection, the safety and wellbeing of our employees is very important to us. That is why safety is not just a priority, it is one of our values. Throughout the year, Western States Fire Protection actively works with employees to prevent accidents through training, audits, and wellness. Through these efforts, we have seen continuous improvement in our work-related injuries over the years. We are always striving to find ways to make our workplace safer for every one of our employees.

One safety effort that we recognize every year is Construction Safety Week. This year, WSFP participated in Construction Safety Week from May 2nd – May 6th. Our theme this year was safe driving. Across the company, we spread awareness about safe practices while driving and the danger of distracted driving. Employees heard messages from our Safety Team and Joe DePriest, President of Western States Fire Protection and our Colorado and Montana offices had a cookout. 

The message was well-received: follow safe driving protocols, and if we all do our part, statistics related to car accidents will drop.

Fire Sprinkler vs. Fire Alarm Inspections

Fire Sprinkler vs. Fire Alarm Inspections

The fire alarms and fire sprinklers in your building need to be inspected and tested in accordance with NFPA guidelines and local codes. With different regulations for fire sprinkler and fire alarm inspection and testing frequencies for each type of system, it can be hard to keep track of when your systems need service. Inspection intervals will vary based on the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) and the type of system you have.

Inspections vs. Testing of Fire Protection Systems

Inspections of fire protection systems include visual checks that the system looks to be in the proper condition. Testing of systems involves more in-depth physical checks that your systems are functioning correctly.

Fire Sprinkler Testing & Inspection Frequencies

Inspections and testing of fire sprinkler systems may be performed weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually.

Weekly

Every week, inspections of gauges in dry, pre-action, and deluge sprinkler systems should be performed.

Monthly

Inspections of gauges in wet pipe sprinkler systems should occur on a monthly basis.

Quarterly

Inspections of fire department connections, water flow alarm devices, valve supervisory alarm devices, supervisory signal devices, control valves, and hydraulic nameplates should be performed every quarter. Testing of fire sprinkler mechanical devices should occur on a quarterly basis.

Semi-Annually

Semi-annually, vane and pressure switch type devices must be tested.

Annually

Annually, hangar and seismic bracing, pipes and fittings, information signage, and spare sprinklers should be inspected.  Every year, a full test and tagging and physical checks on all parts of the fire sprinkler system should be performed, including:

  • Water flow test
  • Fire pump test
  • Antifreeze concentration test (if applicable)
  • Alarm tests
  • Trip tests of dry, deluge and pre-action valves

Every 3 Years

If you have a dry or pre-action sprinkler system, testing leak rates need to be tested every 3 years.

Every 5 Years

Every 5 years, you need to get an internal inspection of your sprinkler piping performed and test the gauges. Sprinklers exposed to extra high temperatures or harsh environments should be tested or replaced every 5 years.

After 15 Years, Then Every 10 Years

               Dry sprinklers should be tested or replaced after 15 years and then every 10 years after that.

After 20 Years, Then Every 10 Years

Fast response sprinklers should be tested after 20 years and then every 10 years after that.

After 50 Years, Then Every 10 Years

Standard response sprinklers should be tested after 50 years, then every 10 years after that.

Fire Alarm Inspection & Testing Frequencies

Inspections of your fire alarm systems should occur weekly, monthly, semi-annually, and annually.

Weekly

Every week, you should inspect control equipment including fuses, LEDs, power supply, and check for trouble signals on your fire alarm system.

Monthly

Inspections of batteries for your fire alarm system should be performed monthly.

Semi-Annually

On a semi-annual basis, testing of the functionality of flow switches, tamper switches, and backup batteries should be performed. Visual inspections of initiation and notification devices should occur semi-annually.

Annually

Fire alarm inspection and testing should be performed every year, including:

  • Horn/strobe testing and inspection.
  • Inspection and testing of pull stations, detectors, and flow switches.
  • Control panel testing and inspection.
  • Battery and backup power supply panel testing and inspection.
  • Testing of voice evacuation equipment.
  • Send signals to monitoring center to test communication path.

Fire Protection Inspections & Testing From WSFP

At Western States Fire Protection, we perform inspections and testing of your fire protection systems as often as required by NFPA standards or AHJ requirements. Our team of experienced technicians can perform inspections and testing aligned with your schedule to minimize disruption to your business. With locations across the western half of the United States, we are ready to provide for all your fire protection service needs. Schedule an inspection with WSFP today!