NFSA Letter states that Fire Sprinkler Contractors, Suppliers, and Manufacturers are Essential Services
For the past week, the NFSA has been working within the guidelines of the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS) (CISA) that would classify fire sprinkler work as essential, especially where emergent repairs, outages, or inspection, testing and maintenance is required by code to operate critical facilities. We have also been carefully evaluating each Executive Order that comes into our team as to how it impacts our members in each state. Please reach out to our Field Operations and Government Relations team in your area or reach out directly to us at email@example.com.
As COVID-19 is disrupting the world and dramatically altering how people live, interact, and do business, please know that NFSA is working harder than ever for our members and our mission.
Organizations around the world are rapidly adapting to the coronavirus. The situation is evolving literally by the hour as the virus continues to spread — with a dramatically increasing impact on individuals, companies, organizations, associations, governments and the entire global economy.
As we have for decades and through multiple world crises, NFSA stands as your partner and ally to assist during this disruption.
For 115 years — through the Great Depression, World War II, upheavals and riots in the 1960s, September 11th , the 2008 global financial crash, and now the coronavirus global pandemic — NFSA’s mission has not changed. We are here to do what we can to help minimize this crisis and it’s disruption to your business.
I addressed the entire NFSA Staff yesterday morning and stressed that our number one priority is to ensure in addition to them, that our members, their families, and their employees remain as safe and secure as possible.
NFSA’s mission is as strong today as it has ever been, and our team is working diligently around the clock to support you and limit the impact on the fire sprinkler industry. We will keep you informed on everything we are learning that may impact our industry, from state and local laws to federal stimulus packages.
We will be monitoring the daily updates and sharing information as we have it. Please use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for all information pertaining to the Coronavirus. We will also be implementing Microsoft Teams Live Meetings with our Area Directors (elected contractors to the Board of Directors) from around the country, so stay tuned.
We are staying on top of things for you. Jim Dalton, who served NFSA for 26 years on Capitol Hill and across the country and just finished a 50 year career as my Senior Policy Advisor, recently sent me a message following our board meeting. That message said, “Its long been stated that tough times require tough decisions,” and that “tough times never last, tough people do.”
There is legislation moving very fast on Capitol Hill in D.C.. There is also legislation and executive orders moving very rapidly across every state and major metropolitan city and county across the country. Some of this legislation is positive to our industry and some negative.
We are working diligently on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to ensure that any stimulus package includes the fire sprinkler industry, and that anything to do with taxes cleans up the technical correction left out of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that would include Quality Improvement Properties (QIP) so that fire sprinklers can receive accelerated depreciation over 10 years. Our partners at the International Association of Fire Chiefs had a great message titled, Fighting Fire with Tax Policy and this will help with what has happened and what is left to do.
Congress has already appropriated $1 billion dollars for the U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program. This is unprecedented in American history. We know that other stimulus packages are in the works and our team in D.C. is working on your behalf. There have been recent changes to the Family Medical Leave Act and more are expected. We have also requested that as bailouts to the airline industry, sports teams, hotels, etc. occur, that non- and not-for-profit associations be included, as we have cancelled training and conferences across the country and U.S. Territories.
While we have a lot going on in Washington, D.C. we know this is hitting you hard at home. As we watch Governors and Mayors implement curfews and close businesses and, even in Boston, close construction sites next week, we know we have to act on your behalf. We are reaching out to contacts from Boston to Arizona and from right here in Nashville. We are working with our Field Operations and Government Affairs team as well as our major Manufacturers Government Affairs teams to make our case that fire and life safety work is vital and must continue as soon as possible.
As we all implement processes and procedures to ensure our personnel are protected, we realize local and state governments will be doing the same. This is causing slowdowns in the plan review processes as well as permitting and inspections. We will be reaching out to state fire agencies as well as local fire agencies to ask that as they return to normalcy, they seek resources to expedite permitting and inspections.
We are also requesting states, from Wisconsin to Florida, where our members are required to have CEUs for licensing, that they extend that for a period of months or through the end of the year to give us time to reschedule training and ensure our members could remain qualified.
We are tackling some of the toughest challenges to our industry. We know that this volatile situation with global logistics and supply chain issues are impacting our Suppliers and Manufacturers, while the local and state government declarations are impacting us in our business and daily lives. We are asking our members to share their experiences with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our staff is working diligently on your behalf to make sure that NFSA and the overall fire sprinkler industry uses this time and this disaster to do what we all should do, come out stronger as soon as we possibly can.
Stay tuned for more to come on upcoming NFSA programs to assist during these unprecedented times
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There are many federal, state, and local requirements, many of which have been changing from day to day. Therefore, it is impossible to provide complete, “one-size-fits-all” advice applicable to every job in every locality.Read More
In this difficult time of the most virulent pandemic to hit the United States since 1918, the National Fire Sprinkler Association recommends that, in states and communities that have shut-down the construction industry, fire protection activities must be considered an essential, life-sustaining activity and should be able to continue work. Our fire sprinkler industry is working hard to ensure that job sites are safe, and utilizing the recommendations from the respective agencies for guidance.Read More
On March 25th, Congress passed the Coronavirus Stabilization Act of 2020. This legislation, which includes over $2 trillion in aid to combat both the virus and the negative economic impacts associated with social distancing, also includes a technical correction to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) that gives incentives to corporations that retrofit their businesses with fire sprinkler systems.Read More
Coronavirus Resources for Employers
Information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be issued at a rapid pace. In order to stay up to date and access accurate information, employers are encouraged to utilize the below links.