CFOA calls for legislation to help protect businesses
The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) is calling upon the Government to provide an incentive for businesses to install fire sprinklers, by introducing a reduction in stamp duty in new or renovated commercial properties that are fitted with sprinklers.
The move has been proposed as part of the Local Government Association (LGA) and CFOA’s document: ‘The Fire and Rescue Service: Making our nation safer’, which lays out a number of challenges to a new Government and includes detailed policy proposals to be implemented within the first 100 days of the new parliament, along with their financial benefits.
With fire and rescue services across the country taking part in Fire Sprinkler Week this week (16-22 March) the benefits that fitting automatic fire sprinkler systems can provide to businesses and educational establishments, in helping to achieve business continuity, will be highlighted. The benefits to business, education, and the economy from initiatives to encourage the fitting of sprinklers are manifold, not only in protecting valuable commercial and community assets, but in reducing the impact a fire can have on the wider supply chain. Many businesses do not recover after a major fire, and this can affect not only the company itself, but its employees, customers and suppliers.
The cost of business fires is around £1.29 billion a year, so even a small reduction of 1.5 percent of the £2.9 billion annual stamp duty collected from commercial premises would more than meet the cost of installing sprinklers in the 8,000 businesses that caught fire in 2012/13.1
The CFOA and LGA proposals estimate that a reduction in Stamp Duty would save the public purse £32 million, with a potential benefit to the UK economy of between £59 and £211 million. A copy of the document with cost breakdowns and outcomes of the proposals can be found onthe CFOA or LGA websites.
In addition to the LGA, CFOA is working with the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), the Business Sprinkler Alliance (BSA), the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN), and the Fire Protection Association (FPA) to promote sprinkler benefits.
Published March 2015