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 all buildings in the State of Rhode Island. The Board further evaluates the proposed use of new fire-related technologies and products. 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/or 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 (elementary and secondary schools), 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, fire extinguishers, commercial cooking equipment, combustible waste, tar kettles, Christmas trees, blasting and explosives.

The 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 (licensed architects representative)
  • Vice-Chairperson: Commissioner Mark J. Blackburn, P.E. (licensed professional engineers representative)
    • Commissioner Rodger Booth (fire protection industry representative)
    • Commissioner Marion C. Filippi (public / small business representative)
    • Commissioner James B. Jackson (labor representative)
    • Commissioner Stuart D. Pearson (volunteer fire chiefs representative)
    • Commissioner Henry L. Richard, Jr. (industry representative)
    • Commissioner Frank M. Sylvester (permanent fire chiefs representative)
    • Commissioner Barbara J. Thornton (public representative)
    • Commissioner Robert M. Walker, Jr. (building inspectors representative)
    • Commissioner [VACANT] (public representative) Any person interested in applying for this position on the Board should contact the Governor's Office on Board Appointments. {{CLICK HERE}}

Executive Director: W. Keith Burlingame, Esq.

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



A request for public records can be made in person between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM, or by telephone, letter, fax or email. It is recommended that you submit your request using the FSC Public Record Request Form. This form is suggested, however not required, to request any public record maintained by the Board. If you choose not to provide any identifying or contact information, you must contact the Board's Public Records Officer to obtain a request number so that we may accurately respond to your request. See the FSC Access to Public Records Regulations for additional information.



October 1, 2015: The General Assembly has recessed for the 2015 session without authorizing the adoption of the 2015 editions of the NFPA codes. Accordingly, all rulemaking by the Board relating to this issue is currently suspended until further notice pending possible legislative action in the fall.


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