Equipment Manufacturer and Congressman Join to Promote Fire Sprinkler Legislation

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff August 4, 2005

Officials from the Viking Corp., Hastings, Mich., met recently with Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers [R-MI] in Grand Rapids to recognize his leadership in cosponsoring HR 1131, Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act of 2005. With Congressman Ehlers’ support, the bill now has a total of 89 cosponsors.

During the meeting, Viking’s President Mike Bosma presented the Congressman with hundreds of letters written by Viking employees and other members of the community expressing support for the legislation.

According to a Viking spokesperson, the major hurdle keeping many property owners from installing sprinklers is finance of the systems. HR 1131, and a sister bill in the Senate S 512, will make the decision to install fire sprinklers easier by allowing building owners to deduct the cost of a sprinkler system from their taxes over a shorter period of time than presently allowed. Through this tax incentive, Congress can have a critical role in providing potential economic benefits by reducing the overall cost of fire protection in our communities.

This year, Viking’s employees have launched a campaign to promote this legislation. As a result of the company’s efforts, hundreds of letters have been delivered to key members of Congress requesting their support.

Bosma expressed his appreciation by saying, “We salute Congressman Ehlers’ commitment to this important life saving legislation. His leadership will help sustain the positive momentum already behind the bill.”

Viking joins the National Fire Sprinkler Assn. and American Fire Sprinkler Assn. in urging Congress to pass the legislation.