Office Winter Holiday Safety


Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

OFFICE Holiday decorating

  • Please ensure that decorations, tables, chairs, etc. do not block or obscure exits. This is particularly important during office or departmental gatherings.
  • Decorations should be kept within the confines of the room. Paper decorations, lights and tinsel should not be strung across hallways and corridors.
  • Decorative materials should be of a fire-resistive nature or chemically treated to render the materials fireretardant.
  • Natural materials such as straw and pine garlands shall not be used.
  • No items may be attached to or hung from sprinkler heads of sprinkler system piping. This is a particularly important requirement because of the potential breakage of the sprinkler heads, pipes, and pipe hangers.
  • Please prohibit the use of electric lighting on metallic trees. Only allow lights which have been tested by an independent agency, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Natural cut trees are not allowed.
  • All lights, other electric decorations, and extension cords must be unplugged before leaving work for the day.
  • Before Heading Home, Unplug all light strings and decorations before leaving for the day.


  • Candles are prohibited at the University of Houston.
  • More than two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.