Holiday Decorating on Campus - Less is More (Safety)!

As we enter the Holiday season, Halloween and harvest decorations beckon too many of us.  Before we know it, Christmas will be here!  

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) would like to remind the campus community of the importance of fire prevention, especially during the holidays. While holiday decorating creates a festive atmosphere, new hazards are often inadvertently introduced into the workplace.

The following safety tips will help prevent fire and keep our workplace safe:

  • All electrical decorations including lights should be UL listed or equivalent.
  • Read instructions before installing holiday lights; do not connect more sets together than stated in the instructions.
  • Never use metal items such as paper clips or staples to connect or secure light strands or other electrical cords.
  • Do not obscure 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.
  • Make sure extension cords and power strips are adequately rated for the use.
  • Do NOT use extension cords and power strips together.
  • Do not run cords across walkways, through doorways, or under rugs as this can cause damage to the cord and result in fire.
  • Do not create trip hazards: electrical cords, decorations, and other items should not be in walkways or protruding 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.
  • Live Christmas trees are prohibited on campus, artificial trees must be labeled as flame retardant.

We encourage individuals to check their work space for hazards on a regular basis and correct them as needed. In order to maintain a safe workplace, we must all work together to identify and eliminate hazards. While holiday decorating is fun and festive, often “less is more” in terms of fire safety!

If you have specific concerns or questions, please contact us at 898-5126.

Following are resources to help with fire safety on campus and at home:

Halloween Safety Tips for Grown Ups

Halloween Safety

Halloween Health and Safety Tips

Holiday Costumes - Safe in the Workplace

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