About the Code and Board

Rhode Island Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review

The Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review is part of the Division of Building, Design and Fire Professionals within the Department of Business Regulation. The Board 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, regulatory and technical information relating to the State Fire Safety Code. Finally, the Board sits as an independent 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 unique circumstances or structural hardship.

The current Fire Safety Code has evolved from the original 1966 statutory provisions (some still in effect) with the majority of requirements now being set forth by rules & regulations.  The Code is developed and administered by the Fire Safety Code Board, covering 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 Safety Code addresses electrical fire safety, smoking regulations, tents, outdoor fires, fire lanes, commercial cooking equipment, combustible waste, tar kettles, Christmas trees, blasting and explosives.