Rhode Island Fire Prevention laws & safety compliance analysis

Rhode Island Fire Prevention: What you need to know

Rhode Island has no specific law or regulation requiring all employers to conduct fire drills.

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The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which governs Rhode Island's private sector occupational safety and health system, requires that companies with 10 or more employees have written fire prevention and emergency exit plans for each workplace. Employers with fewer than 10 employees may communicate the plans orally. To ensure that the exit plan will work in an actual emergency, it is advisable to rehearse regularly with annual or semiannual drills.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most employers to provide emergency exit routes, an emergency action plan, a fire prevention plan, and to implement procedures to protect employees from fires. Although fire and evacuation drills are not specifically required by regulation, employers should also have written procedures for executing fire evacuation drills. Employees who supervise evacuations must be trained to perform the task.

The Rhode Island Fire Safety Code enforced by the Office of the Fire Marshal regulates fire safety measures and procedures in educational, daycare, residential health care, and correctional and detention facilities, and in apartment buildings, dormitories, rooming houses, hotels, and motels (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 23-28-3).

Local codes. Local fire safety codes may contain additional requirements for business facilities.

State employees. In state-owned and -leased buildings, associate directors, supervisors, and employees acting as fire wardens receive training on building evacuation. State employees are expected to know the location of fire alarms and exit routes for ...


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