Holiday Decorating on Campus - Be Fire Safe

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety would like to remind the Campus community of the importance of fire prevention, especially during the Holidays. While holiday decorating creates a festive atmoshphere, new hazards are often inadvertently introduced into the workplace.

Before you decorate your work space, please review the following safety tips:

  • Live Christmas trees are prohibited on Campus and artificial trees should be flame retardant.
  • All electrical decorations, including lights, should be UL listed or equivalent.
  • Read instructions before installing holiday lights.  Do not connnect more sets together than stated in the instructions.
  • Never use metal items such as paper clips to secure light strands or other electrical cords.
  • Do not obsure or cover exit doors or exit signs.
  • If using extension cords (temporary use only) be sure they are free of any damages or defects, including the plug.  A missing or damaged ground prong creates a shock risk.
  • Make sure extension cords and power strips are adequately rated for the use.
  • Do NOT use extension cords and/or power strips together, as this is daisy chaining which can cause a fire.
  • Avoid running cords across walkways, through doorways, or under rugs as this can cause damage to the cord and result in fire.  This also creates a trip hazard.
  • Do not create trip hazards.  Cords and other items should not be in walkways or prtruding into walkways.
  • Minimize the use or hanging of paper and cloth decorations from ceilings and walls unless flame retardant.  These items can drastically increase the spread of smoke and fire.

While holiday decorating is fun and provides a change of scenery, often "less is more" in terms of fire safety.  We ask for your assistance in maintaining a safe workplace! 

If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at 898-5126.

For additional Safety Tips and Resources:

Consumer Product Safety Commission

National Safety Council

National Fire Protection Agency - Christmas Tree and Holiday Lights