holiday decorations policy


Tulane University

Holiday Decorations Policy

When decorating for the holidays in your work areas, please keep in mind the following University policy to maintain fire safety conditions and comply with all applicable codes as enforced by the Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshal:

1. For fire safety reasons, only use artificial, flame-retardant, non-conductive trees with the following exceptions:

a.A 'cut" tree which has been treated with effective flame-retardant materials, can only be used in building lobbies.  All other locations are prohibited.  Written proof of flame-retardancy must be attached to the tree and a copy of this documentation must be available to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) or building management upon request.  These trees should be placed in water to retain maximum freshness and to discourage drying.  Please check the water level on an ongoing basis.

b.Also permitted is an "uncut" or living tree with its roots still attached.  These trees must be watered as required.

2.Trees or decorations must not obstruct or reduce the width of corridors or exits.  They must not be placed inside enclosed stairwells.

3.The use of lit candles are prohibited unless the specific application is submitted in writing to OEHS for review and approval such as in the case of a religious ceremony.  However, lit candles are prohibited in the residence halls without exception.

4.No more than three (3) Underwriter's Laboratories (U.L.) listed miniature light sets may be used to decorate approved trees.  Please turn off lights when the area is unoccupied such as at night, weekends, and holidays.

5.Electrical extension cords are discouraged.  However, if used for this temporary purpose, then only one cord is to be used.  It must be appropriately sized for the application and U.L. approved.  It must not create a trip hazard and must not be placed through concealed spaces, doorways, or windows subject to closure.

6.Flame-retardant, non-breakable decorations are advised.  Furnishings or decorations of a highly combustible, flammable or explosive character may not be used for any type of display.

7.Decorations must not be hung from smoke detectors, automatic sprinkler heads or pipes or in any way that obstructs the visibility of exits or EXIT signs.  In buildings equipped with automatic sprinklers systems, no combustible decorations are allowed within 18 inches of the sprinkler heads.


For questions regarding this policy, please contact OEHS – Downtown at 988-2447, OEHS – Uptown at 865-5307 or OEHS – TNPRC at extension 4811.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.


Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 - Some photos courtesy of the Peace Corps -