Holiday Decorating Guidelines

The following holiday display safety guidelines are offered to help keep this festive time of the year from being marred by fires or accidents. Please post and share this information with your staff and ensure the guidelines are followed.


All lighting and power strips must be UL listed. Keep in mind there are products on the market that may say "Tested to Underwriters' Standards" or, "Meets Underwriters' Standards." This is not the same as the Underwriters' seal or label.

Lights should be plugged directly to a wall outlet. A single grounded (three-prong) power strip may be used to connect directly to a wall outlet.

No more than three sets of lights can be connected together, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. The lights must be in good operating condition. Lighting with broken sockets or frayed/damaged electric cords cannot be used.

No cords for lighting and or other power can be run through openings, i.e. doors or windows.

Lights used for decorations must be unplugged (not just turned off) at the end of each day.


The handrail is for stability, not decorations. If stairs have a handrail on both sides, leave both undecorated. This ensures the functionality of handrails for individuals with the use of only one hand, as well as preventing potential collisions for individuals who need the handrail going both up and down the stairs.

No decorations can be placed and or fixed to a stair tread or riser.


Exits cannot be blocked for any reason.

Exits signs cannot be blocked and decorations cannot be applied to or hung from exit signs for any reason.

There shall be no projections into the clear width of the corridor from a height of 27 inches to the floor or ground. Projections from 27 inches upward, shall not exceed 4 inches.

Tree Foliage

Live cut trees, garland, wreaths, hay, straw, etc are not permitted.

Artificial trees must be flame-resistant or flame retardant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems (e.g., lights) need to have the Underwriters' Laboratory (UL) label.

Although metal trees are not a fire hazard, they may become a shock hazard if placed near an electrical outlet or faulty lighting strings are placed directly on them. Inspect lighting carefully before use.

Do not locate a tree where if upright or fallen, it would block corridors, stairs, or exit doors.

Doors and Walls

Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials. Do not use cotton batting, flock, or paper unless the material is listed as fire resistant or flame retardant.

No straw, hay, cornstalks, or similar combustibles are allowed inside any building. Fire codes strictly prohibit these materials.

Keep all materials away from heat sources.