Fire Safety Code, Rhode Island


Rhode Island Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review

The Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review is charged with the development and administrative review of a comprehensive fire safety code covering the State of Rhode Island. The Board further evaluates the proposed use of new fire-related technologies. The Board provides the State Fire Marshal, other state agencies and over 70 fire departments with legal and technical advice. Finally, the Board sits as an adjudicatory body by providing both review of code enforcement decisions made by the State and local Fire Marshal's Offices and granting variances from strict compliance with the code in cases of structural hardship.

The Fire Safety Code, developed and administered by the Fire Safety Code Board, covers specialized fire protection requirements for hazardous materials and chemicals, flammable and combustible liquids, liquefied petroleum gases, liquefied natural gases, fireworks, model rocketry, heating appliances, spray application of flammable and combustible liquids, welding, use of torches, dust explosion prevention, industrial ovens and furnaces, mechanical refrigeration, combustible fibers and airport refueling operations. In addition, the Fire Safety Code outlines the fire safety requirements of all assembly (including nightclubs, places of worship and theaters), educational, day-care, health care, ambulatory health care, detention and correctional, lodging or rooming house, hotel and dormitory, apartment (4+ units), residential board and care, mercantile, business, industrial and storage occupancies in the State of Rhode Island. In addition, the code provides standards for the installation of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in 1- and 2-family dwellings and 3-family apartment buildings. Finally, the Fire Code addresses electrical fire safety, smoking regulations, tents, outdoor fires, fire lanes, commercial cooking equipment, combustible waste, tar kettles, Christmas trees, blasting and explosives.

The original Fire Safety Code Commission was established in 1966 by Title 23 Chapter 28.3 of the Rhode Island General Laws. The statute was amended in 1975 to rename the commission as the Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review. The eleven (11) board members are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate for six (6) year terms. The Governor further designates one member to serve as the Chairperson for a two (2) year term.

  • Chairperson: Commissioner Dana M. Newbrook, AIA (licensed architect representative)
  • Vice-Chairperson: Commissioner Mark J. Blackburn, P.E. (licensed professional engineer representative)
    • Commissioner Marion C. Filippi (public / small business representative)
    • Commissioner Stuart D. Pearson (volunteer fire chiefs representative)
    • Commissioner Robert M. Walker, Jr. (building inspectors representative)
    • Commissioner James B. Jackson (labor representative)
    • Commissioner Frank M. Sylvester (permanent fire chiefs representative)
    • Commissioner Rodger Booth (fire protection industry representative)
    • Commissioner Barbara J. Thornton, AIA (public representative)
    • Commissioner Dorothy S. Davison, Esq. (public representative)
    • Commissioner Carol O'Donnell (industry representative)

As of June 20, 2018, the Board falls within the jurisdiction of the Department of Business Regulation -- Division of Building, Design and Fire Professionals.

Executive Director: W. Keith Burlingame, Esq.

Chairman: Dana M. Newbrook, AIA

Assistant Administrative Officer: Kathleen Hague / Administrative Assistant: Desiree M. Campanini



The Board is in the process of converting to an online electronic filing format -- stay tuned!

Application forms for appeals/variances are available from the Fire Safety Code Board**, the State Fire Marshal's Office or your local city or town fire authority. All applications must be completely filled out, signed by the Applicant (property owner or authorized representative) and the state or local fire authority and accompanied by the appropriate filing fee. Click >>>here<<< to view the filing fee schedule currently in effect. You can click >>>here<<< to see a sample of a properly completed Variance Application form.

^^^ The Board is now accepting VARIANCE APPLICATION forms that can be downloaded >>>here<<<, however the completed form still must be submitted to the Board with the appropriate filing fee, any supporting documents and original signatures* - copies of signatures will not be accepted.


*N O T I C E: In accordance with Fire Safety Code Section 450-RICR-00-00-1.7.1(K), any person, other than an attorney at law, who signs an application form as an authorized representative, shall provide the Board of Appeal & Review with a letter of authorization signed by the owner of the subject property.




The Board will make a good faith effort to schedule a request for an appeal hearing within thirty (30) days of the filing date (See the SCHEDULED HEARINGS page for tentative meeting dates) provided that a COMPLETE application is RECEIVED AND FILED. In order for the appeal to be filed and scheduled for a hearing, the application form must be filled out completely and signed by the Applicant (property owner, authorized representative or attorney for the owner) and include any relevant documents and approvals or disapprovals from the fire official (AHJ), and the submittal of the appropriate filing fee.

For good cause, an appeal may be scheduled on the next available meeting date for an expedited hearing upon the request of the Applicant or the AHJ in accordance with 450-RICR-00-00-1.7.2(C).


Any documentation that either the Applicant or the AHJ wishes to rely upon during their scheduled hearing shall be submitted to the Fire Board, and the opposing side, at least seven (7) calendar days prior to their scheduled Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal & Review hearing. This requirement may be either shortened or waived by the Fire Board for good cause shown in accordance with 450-RICR-00-00-7.1.1 [].

You will receive notification from the Board once your application has been processed and a hearing date scheduled.



Emerson Tool Company Recalls RIDGID Wet/Dry Vacuums Due to Shock Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Home Depot: []

3. Cost Plus World Market Recalls Daybeds Due to Violation of Federal Mattress Flammability Standard: []

4. Gas Ranges and Wall Ovens Recalled by Prizer-Painter Stove Works Due to Burn Hazard: []

Lester Electrical Recalls Links Series Chargers Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
[] []

Hawthorne Hydroponics Recalls Humidifiers Due to Fire and Shock Hazards: []

PetSmart Recalls Strip Lights for Reptile Cages Due to Fire Hazard:  [] []

Vornado Air Reannounces Recall of Electric Space Heaters Following Report of Death; Fire and Burn Hazards: []

Xtava Recalls Allure Hair Dryers Due to Fire, Burn and Electrical Shock Hazards: []




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