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Guidelines for Holiday Decorations

Live-Cut Christmas Trees are not permitted in any University facility.  Most Christmas trees are cut well in advance of use, they dry out considerably and are too combustible for indoor use. Live uncut trees are allowed only if they are still connected to their roots to be planted later.

Artificial Trees
should be labelled as being constructed of non-combustible materials.
  • Use only Underwriter's laboratories approved cool bulbs in light strings as well as other decorative materials and equipment.
  • Tree decorations must also be fire resistant.  Electric Lights must not be used on metallic trees.

Other Decorations:

  • DO NOT use burning candles.
  • DO NOT use boughs cut from natural trees.
  • DO NOT place trees or any materials in hallways, stairways, on in front of doors.
  • DO NOT use straw, straw bales, or corn fodder in any University facility.
  • DO NOT use cotton batting, flock or paper unless the materials have been treated and listed as fire resistant.
  • USE paper decorations sparingly and do cover more 25% of any door or wall.
  • DO follow University Guidelines for use of extension cords. Do connect multiple extension cords together that will overload an outlet.
  • DO carefully inspect any electrical decorations having pinched, frayed, or exposed metal parts. Dispose all defective electrical equipment immediately. Avoid laying electrical wires on floor surfaces to avoid incidents of electric shock. 
  • DO use only non-combustible materials such as foil, glass, and metal when decorating doors and walls.
  • Exterior decorations must be plugged into a outlet designed for exterior use (GFCI).

Christmas Tree Fire Safety At Your Home (Live-cut trees are not allowed on campus)

Christmas trees are beautiful and can give a festive symbol to the holiday season. Christmas Trees, if not properly cared for, can lead to fire during the holiday season. Following these safety tips will help ensure that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday experince:
  • Select the location for your Christmas tree carefully, keeping it away from fireplaces, heating vents, wall furnaces, and other heat-producing appliances that may dry out the tree.
  • When you get your tree home, saw at least one inch off the trunk and mount the tree in a stand that holds water. Keep the water level above the cut. This will keep the tree fresh and green while reducing the risk of fire.
  • Do not use lighted candles or other flaming devices on your Christmas tree or near other decorations.
  • Examine tree lights for the Underwriters' Laboratory (U.L.) label, and check the strings for signs of wear and tear. Discard if old or frayed.
  • Exercise care with extension cords. Use no more than three sets of lights per extension cord. Do not place the cords under rugs or in paths of travel. Avoid connecting two or more extension cords together.
  • When you take down your tree, do not attempt to burn it in your fireplace. Dry trees throw off a tremendous amount of heat and and can create a dangerous chimney fires cause by rapid build up of creosote. After use take the used tree to your local recycler and have it processed into mulch for your yard.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

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To report an emergency, dial 852-6111 or 911.

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