Page 6 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • October 7, 2009 Franklin Lakes Mayor supports sprinklers in all new construction by Frank J. McMahon Franklin Lakes Mayor Maura DeNicola has issued a proclamation in support of the adoption and approval of amendments to the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code to require the installation of a fire sprinkler system in all newly constructed one- and two-family dwellings. DeNicola cited the need for public safety and said at a recent council meeting that she considers it unacceptable that more than 3,000 people in the United States are killed in fires each year, with an overwhelming 84 percent of these deaths occurring in residential homes. “I find it totally unacceptable that 36 percent of the deaths of firefighters occur in one- and two-family dwellings,” DeNicola said, “and as a taxpayer and resident of New Jersey, I want to have a positive and consequential impact on reducing the state’s losses due to fire.” She added that she recognizes that fire sprinklers represent a proven, reliable, efficient, and effective method of protecting life and property in both commercial and residential occupancies. A bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, “The Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act of 2009,” would amend the 1986 Internal Revenue Code to allow fire sprinkler retrofits to be depreciated over a five-year period. Presently, a fire sprinkler retrofit in a commercial building is depreciated over 39 years and a residential building over 27-and-a-half years. The National Fire Sprinkler Association claims the current depreciation schedule is archaic and provides no economic incentive for the retrofitting of fire sprinklers in the high inventory of critical occupancies across America. The NFSA says passage of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act would eliminate this economic roadblock by providing for a more rapid recovery of cost and would greatly reduce the tremendous annual economic and human losses fire inflicts on the national economy and the quality of life. NFSA statistics in support of the legislation include a claim that over $14.5 billion in direct property damage occurred as a result of fire in 2007 and the total estimated indirect cost of fire in 2004, the last year of available data, was $97.5 billion. The complete total cost of fire in the US is estimated to be between $231 and $278 billion, approximately 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product. The NFSA also points out that there are thousands of high-rise buildings built under older codes that lack adequate fire protection, and billions of dollars were spent to make these and other buildings barrier-free. As a result, people with disabilities now occupy these buildings and are not adequately protected from fire. According to the NFSA, health care industry representatives estimate that there are approximately 3,200 nursing homes and thousands of assisted living facilities that still need to be retrofitted with fire sprinklers. The association also pointed out that over 80 percent of college related fire deaths have occurred in off-campus housing where two-thirds of the college students across the nation live. And, in early 2003, the Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island killed 100 occupants, but there are still thousands of similar nightclubs and entertainment venues that need to be retrofitted with fire sprinklers. Finally, the NFSA points out that over 3,500 firefighter fatalities have occurred between 1977 and 2008, and hundreds more annually receive disabling injuries, and thousands more suffer pain of injuries and incur lost time, all at the expense to taxpayers. In a statement posted on its website at the NFSA claims, “Passage of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act will cause more buildings to be protected and reduce the opportunities for firefighters to be exposed to these dangers and leave them to the myriad of duties they have been assigned to protect America.” The Christian Health Care Center Foundation will hold a Harvestfest celebration, a unique fundraising event, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at McBride Field on Franklin Lake Road in Franklin Lakes. The evening’s activities will feature a delicious menu donated by Market Basket and a special concert “The McVey Family and Friends, Broadway and Beyond,” featuring Broadway performers J. Mark McVey, Christy Tarr-McVey, and Laurie Gayle Stephenson. This year, the event will be co-hosted with Eastern Christian School Association. The cost per person is Harvestfest celebration scheduled $150. Proceeds from the sale of CHCC tickets will benefit the Good Samaritan Fund, which provides financial assistance to those of limited means seeking counseling through one of the center’s mental-health programs. Proceeds of the sale of ECSA tickets will benefit its scholarship assistance fund. For more information and tickets to benefit CHCC, call Darcy Bickert at (201) 848-5796 or e-mail events@chccnj. org. For more information and tickets to benefit ECSA, call Beth Milkamp at (973) 427-9294 or e-mail specialev ������������������������������ ������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������� ������������������������� ����������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������ ��������������������������� ����������� ����������������������