Personalizing Your Living Space

3341-2-26 Personalizing Your Living Space

All University Units

Responsible Unit:
Office of Residence Life

Policy Administrator:
Director of Residence Life

(A) Policy Statement and Purpose

The purpose is to articulate to residential students the parameters for decorating their living space as well as the types of electrical and other equipment they may have or not have in their rooms.

(B) Policy

(1) Wall and Door Decorations

You may make your room feel more like home by putting posters and pictures on the wall. White adhesive putty is the recommended way to do this. Avoid the use of two-sided tape, colored putty, or nails as these items create residue that must be removed or holes that must be filled.

(2) Decorations

In an effort to maintain an environment that is safe and free of potential fire and other life safety hazards, residents are asked by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety to adhere to the following decoration guidelines within the residence, whether within their own rooms/suites/apartments or within the common areas of the building:

(a) General Requirements

(i) All decorations shall be fire resistant or noncombustible (Ohio Fire Code, FM-306.1-5). Decorations must have the label of Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or similar standard.

(ii) 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 minimal amount of decorations and must comply with paragraph 1a above.

(iii) Exit signs, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarm pulls, emergency lights, personal entry devices (PED) boxes and audible fire signals/ strobe lights cannot be decorated, covered or obstructed in any way.

(iv) Straw, hay, leaves, corn shocks and dry vegetation are not permitted in any building.

(v) Excessive dirt or sand is not permitted in any building.

(vi) Further information on university policies regarding the use of decorations in university residences is available from the hall or unit director.

(b) Candles

Candles of any kind (whether lit or unlit) or any other open flame devices are not permitted in any residential building (residence hall or small group living units), including but not limited to student rooms and all common area space, at any time, for any purpose whatsoever.

(c) Lighting

(i) Crepe paper or other materials are not to be wrapped around lights.

(ii) Building light bulbs are not to be painted or moved. Commercially manufactured colored bulbs may be used if positioned by custodial or maintenance employees.

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

(iv) Decorative lights used inside buildings must be “miniature” types.

(v) 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.

(vi) Extension cords are not permitted in student residences. Power strips with surge protectors must be used in place of extension cords.

(vii) 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.

(viii) Lighted decorations must not be left on and unattended.

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

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

(d) Decorative trees

(i) Live or cut trees or greens (branches, boughs, etc.) are not permitted in university-owned buildings.

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

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

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

(e) Special amusement buildings

Bowling Green City Fire Department Regulations prohibit haunted houses and similar amusement or educational events in which building occupants or the general public are conducted through a fixed or restricted course. This also applies to creating or building these types of structures on residence hall floors or in common areas.

(3) Electrical Appliances and Electronic Equipment Limitations in the availability of power to each room/suite/apartment as well as concern for fire hazards place restrictions on the types of equipment allowed in student rooms/suites/apartments. For this reason, cooking is only permitted in student rooms/suites/apartments in approved combination microwave/refrigerators, or in microwave ovens using nine hundred watts or less. Residents will be held responsible for ensuring that their electrical appliances and electronic equipment conform to the following:

(a) Approved electrical and electronic equipment and appliances are:

(i) Combination microwave/refrigerator units.

(ii) Compact portable refrigerators (size may not exceed five cubic feet, thirty-six inches in height and one point five amps).

(iii) Microwave ovens that do not exceed nine hundred watts.

(iv) Power strips with surge protectors. Please do not plug one power strip into another.

(v) Televisions, stereos, CD players, computers and peripherals and other sensitive electronic equipment.

(vi) All electrical appliances must be UL or CSA approved and used with a surge protector.

(b) Electrical and electronic equipment and appliances that are not permitted in the residences:

(i) Appliances with exposed heating elements. Among other things this includes the “George Foreman Grill” and all similar devices

(ii) Hot plates, toasters and toaster ovens

(iii) Air conditioners

(iv) Quartz halogen lights

(v) Portable heaters

(vi) Extension cords

(vii) Multi-plug adapters

(viii) Electric blankets

(4) Bunk beds/Lofts

Homemade or rented lofts of any kind are not permitted in any residence hall or small-group living unit, as the furniture provided is already loftable.

(a) Placing beds in the bunked/lofted position is entirely optional on the part of the resident. Should a resident wish to bunk/loft a bed, assistance may be requested from the staff at the front desk of the residence hall or the house staff of a small-group living unit.

(b) Should beds be lofted, bed frames must be securely supported on both sides by university bed ends.

(c) A guardrail is provided with every university bed which should be utilized when the bed is in the bunked/lofted position. Should residents utilize their bunked/lofted bed without using the guardrail, they do so at their own risk.

(d) All university furniture must remain in the room in which it is originally located. The Office of Residence Life does not provide storage facilities for furniture.

(e) All furnishings must be returned to the original position in the room before the student checks out of the room. You may be asked to deloft your bed at the end of the academic year regardless of the position of the furnishings at move in.

(5) Non-University Furniture

(a) Upholstered furniture used in the university residences must meet strict fire retardant codes (fabrics must meet the class I requirements of U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Standard 191-53, California Flammability Bulletin 117, class A-ASTM-E84) or Upholstered Furniture Section Council [UFAC] [Gold tag]). Only furniture that meets this fire retardant code will be permitted in university residences.

(b) Other prohibited furniture includes:

(i) Vinyl furniture.

(ii) Inflatable furniture.

(iii) Bean bag chairs or bean bag-like chairs.

(iv) Any upholstered furniture that is not classified as fire retardant or does not meet the above fire retardant standards.

(c) It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that any furniture brought into the building meets these standards. Possession of or bringing of furniture into university residences which is in violation of these requirements subjects the student to disciplinary action as well as the cost of the removal and disposal of the furniture.

(6) University Furniture

All furnishings provided by the university, including bed ends and bed springs, must remain in the room/suite/apartment common areas unless specifically authorized by the supervisor of the residence.

(7) Water Beds

Water beds are not permitted in university residences because of weight restrictions in the halls and possible water damage to the buildings.

(8) Mercury Thermometers

Mercury thermometers are prohibited in all residential buildings as they pose a serious health and safety hazard if broken.

(9) Damage to or Loss of Personal Property

The Office of Residence Life, Capstone Management, and Bowling Green State University are not responsible for stolen, lost or damaged personal property. All residents are encouraged to properly insure such items of value via home owner’s or renter’s insurance policies.

Registered Date: March 12, 2015