Decoration Displays and Christmas Trees


As the holiday season approaches we experience the practice of erecting decorations, displays, and Christmas trees.  In an attempt to provide an environment free of fire hazards for faculty, staff, students, and visitors the following rules shall apply on the Western Michigan University campus:

Decorations of any type shall be of such materials that they will not continue to burn or glow after being subjected to the flame of an ordinary match.  The normal use of bulletin boards and posters shall not be subject to this rule.

•Electrical devices must bear the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label and be in good repair and condition.

•Decorations, displays, and Christmas trees shall be located so they will not obstruct doors, corridors, stairs, landings, or spaces providing normal egress, neither shall they obstruct building signs, exit lights, fire equipment, or building service equipment.

•Material used in displays must be adequately secured to prevent falling.  Free-standing displays must have adequate stability to prevent toppling.  No attachments to building structures may be made except those receiving prior approval from deans, directors, chairpersons, or department heads.

•Harmful objects or material (toxic, flammable, etc.) shall not be used.

The following examples are provided for your guidance in selecting acceptable decorations, displays, and Christmas trees.

Not Acceptable:

•Natural Christmas trees or branches

•Cotton batting or cotton balls

•Ordinary untreated crepe paper, tissue paper, or fabrics

•Exposed electrical current

•Light bulbs in contact with decorations

•Fast burning plastic materials

•Open candles, incense, and gas or liquid-fuel lanterns

•Loose or baled hay, corn stalks, leaves, etc.


•Flame retardant crepe paper, tissue paper, and fabrics

•Spot or flood lighting

•Table candles (in dining rooms only) with glass bowls or chimneys

•Christmas trees of metal or self-extinguishing plastic

•Aerosol artificial snow

•UL Approved small lights on plastic trees


Revised 11/1/2019