Fire safety and holiday decorations

As the holiday season approaches, we are entering the time of year when members of the JHU community are thinking about putting up decorations in their residence halls, common spaces, or offices to express the joy of the fall and winter holidays. Health, Safety & Environment encourages everyone to enjoy this festive time in ways that will also ensure the safety of our community and that comply with all applicable fire codes.

Please help us ensure a safe holiday season by observing these rules for holiday decorations in all JHU facilities:

  1. Cut natural trees and decorative greens: The Baltimore City Fire Code prohibits the installation or display of cut natural trees or natural decorative greens in JHU buildings, including student residence halls and common areas of residential facilities. Please be aware that failure to follow the fire code requirements may subject the university to violations by the Fire Department of Baltimore.

  2. Lighting devices using open flame or high heat: The use of this type of lighting, including candles, lanterns, oil lamps, etc., is prohibited.

  3. Electric light sets: Electric holiday lights must bear the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label.

  4. Electrical outlets: Do not overload outlets with multiple plugs.

  5. Extension cords: Use of extension cords is prohibited.

  6. Artificial trees/decorations: Only fire-resistant or flame-retardant artificial trees and decorations may be used. To determine whether a product is fire-resistant or flame-retardant, check the packaging in which it comes or with the manufacturer. Maintain flame-retardant documentation. Materials that cannot be flame-proofed may not be used for decorations under any circumstances.

  7. Access to exits: Do not block or obstruct exits, paths to exits, or exit lights with decorations.

  8. Access to safety equipment: Do not block or obstruct fire extinguishers, fire alarms, or other fire safety equipment.

Review the JHU Decorations Policy.

Thank you for helping to ensure that all holidays are celebrated safely!