Candles/Open Flame Devices Policy

Authority: President
Date Enacted or Revised: February 2004; Revised April 2016; March 15, 2022


The purpose of this policy is to provide policy and procedure information regarding open flame devices.


Generally, the use of candles, incense, potpourri and other open flame devices such as lamps and lanterns are prohibited in the University’s academic buildings, offices, and residence halls. However, candles and open flame devices may be used subject to certain restrictions.


No candles or open flames are allowed in any buildings or dorms. The only exception to this is by an authorized Open Flame Permit (Section 7: Forms) for use to keep foods warm, such as sterno flames in a proper container. Other open flame uses on the University campus, such as for cooking or BBQ use, no matter the heat source, must obtain an Open Flame Permit from the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations at least 10 days prior to the event. The original permit will be sent to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations for review, additions, approval, or disapproval. A copy of the permit will be sent back to the originator, and the permit must be on-site for inspection by police, fire, or facilities personnel to ensure compliance.

Guidelines for Approval

Approval for open flame permits will be granted for specific dates, times, and locations. Open flame devices must be under constant supervision, not unattended while burning. An approved fire extinguisher shall be immediately available in the area, and a person who has been trained in its use will be present to serve as a fire watch. Open flame devices shall be lit only during the function. Flames will be immediately extinguished at the conclusion of the function. Open flame devices must be kept in a stationary, securely supported, non-combustible holder. Open flame devices must not be placed on windowsills or other areas that are unstable, or where the flame could come in contact with curtains or other hanging objects. Open flame devices will not be permitted in areas where occupants are standing in aisles or exits. Readily combustible materials, including draperies and curtains, must be secured at least three feet from an open flame. Open flame devices must not be used in close proximity to heat or smoke detectors or sprinkler heads in such a way that the heat or smoke might activate the device.


This policy is distributed via the Administrative Advisory Council and the University Policies webpage.