Holiday Decorations

Monday, November 04, 2013 3:43 PM | Anonymous member

It's that time of the year to remind everyone about classroom, hallway, and general school decorations.

Please share this email with your entire staff or discuss at a staff meeting.

(Additionally, it would be a good idea to assign this topic to your School Safety Committee so the issue can be monitored.)

Highlights from the State Fire Marshall's office published guidelines pertaining to schools are:

      EGRESS - Access to exits and exit paths shall not be obstructed by decorative materials.


      Candles and other sources of open flame are not allowed for any decorations or ceremonies, except as approved by the fire code official prior to the event.

      Sources of ignition shall not be allowed within the vicinity of combustible decorative materials.


      Only UL listed miniature lights or LED style lights shall be used in accordance with their listing.

      Extension cords shall be approved commercially manufactured UL listed assemblies (14-guage minimum 15-amp minimum). Only grounded or polarized extension cords shall be used.

      Electrical lights and extension cords that are physically damaged or altered shall not be used unless repairs are in accordance with the state adopted electrical code.


      All decorations shall be either inherently fire retardant or treated with a flame retardant to be flame resistant and shall comply with the Oregon Fire Code 2010 Edition, Section 807.

      Artwork, decorations for learning purposes, and student generated materials on the walls in routes of egress shall not exceed 20% of the wall area.

      Displays for classrooms and hallways:

      Paper materials such as artwork and decorations shall be secured flat against the wall or bulletin board.

      Three dimensional artwork and decor (has height, width, and depth, or thickness) is prohibited unless approved by the local fire code official.

      Limit displays to 40 square feet with a three-foot "fire break" between displays.

      Displays shall not cover more than 20% of a hallway wall area.

      Classroom doors shall not be covered with paper.

      Materials suspended from the ceiling (hanging decor) shall be at least 24 inches below the ceiling and be at least 18 inches from fire sprinkler heads.

      Items suspended cannot hang low enough to interfere with exiting.

      Ceilings shall not be covered with flammable materials.

A complete copy of the Oregon Fire Code Advisory Memo can be found here:


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