Decoration Policy

The following requirements are for the safety of students, employees, and visitors at Bowling Green State University.  Many of these requirements are based on the Ohio Fire Code.


  1. All decorations shall be fire resistant, or noncombustible (Ohio Fire Code, (G) Section 807). Decorations must have the label of Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or similar standard.

  2. No decorations may be hung from the ceiling, placed in offices, rooms or lounges in a manner that will interfere with safe passage or evacuation. No decorations shall be placed in hallways, aisles, stairwells or exit routes. Room doors may have a minimum amount of decorations and must comply with item one (1).

  3. Exit signs, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, emergency lights, sprinkler heads and audible fire signals/strobe lights cannot be decorated or covered or obstructed in any way.

  4. Straw, hay, leaves, corn shocks, or dry vegetation is not permitted in any building.

  5. Dirt or sand is not permitted in any building.



  1. Crepe paper or other materials are not to be wrapped around lights.

  2. Building light bulbs are not to be painted. Commercially manufactured colored bulbs maybe used if positioned by custodial or maintenance employees.

  3. Only use lighting sets that show Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) label.

  4. For outdoor lighting, use only lights with special weather proof cords designed for this purpose and that carry the UL label.

  5. Decorative lights used inside building must be "miniature" types.

  6. Lighting sets can wear out or become damaged and should be checked closely before installation for bare wires, worn insulation, broken plugs, loose sockets, etc. Extension cords should not be used.  Surge protectors are strongly recommended in place of extension cords.

  7. Be sure circuits are not overloaded with too many lights. If circuit breakers shut off or fuses are blown, there may be a short or an overloaded circuit.

  8. Lighted decorations must not be left on and unattended.

  9. There should be no pinch in electrical cords. For instance, electrical cords should not be run through door openings.

  10. Decorative lights must not be tightly coiled, wrapped around or pinched, such as under or around a bedpost.


  1. Live or cut trees are not permitted in University-owned buildings.

  2. Artificial trees must be of a certified slow burning or fire resistant material. Trees not meeting this standard will not be permitted.

    1. Artificial trees are permitted in reception areas or lobbies of academic and service buildings and in main lounges or residence units (ground floor or main floor, depending on building numbering system).

    2. Artificial trees may be located in student rooms as long as the tree does not exceed two (2) feet in height.

    3. Metallic trees shall be lighted only by indirect lighting. Lighting sets are not to be hung on metallic trees (possible shock hazard).

    4. A fire extinguisher shall be nearby.

    5. Remember that live Christmas tree greens of any kind (branches, boughs, etc.) are not permitted.


BGSU prohibits haunted houses and similar amusement or educational events in which building occupants or the general public is conveyed through a fixed or restricted course.  The Ohio Fire Code Section (907.2.11 to 907.2.11.3) and the Ohio Building Code Section 411 (411.1 to 411.8) has special requirements for these events that University facilities cannot meet.

If there are any questions, please call Environmental Health and Safety (372-2171).

Revised: 9-17-07