Holiday Decorating Safety Code and Compliance Tips

Decorating for the holidays can be fun as long term care facilities re-open to looser visitation restrictions and pre pandemic normalcy. However, it is equally important to maintain a safe environment by being aware and in compliance with the Life Safety Code. 

Here are some quick tips and reminders to maintain a safe environment that is compliant with the Life Safety Code:

  1. Combustible decorations are only permitted if they are flame retardant or when they are in limited quantities such that the hazard of fire development and spread is not present. For example, a handful of holiday cards attached to a door can be considered a limited quantity.
  2. A door completely covered with holiday cards could be considered excessive.
  3. Holiday decorations, including evergreen wreaths, ornaments, photos, etc. can be used on doors, and in hallways, as long as they do not exceed 3 ½”-4" in-depth and are not blocking the entrances or exits.
  4. Non-rated combustible decorations cannot exceed 20% of the wall space in an exit egress corridor.
  5. Use only UL listed holiday lights and wiring in supervised areas and turn off when not in use.
  6. Use UL-approved outdoor lighting.
  7. Do not visually block egress, exit signage, or any fire safety equipment with decorations. This includes fire alarm pull stations, visual fire alarm notification devices, and fire extinguishers.
  8. Do not hang decorations from sprinkler heads.
  9. Do not use flame-producing decorations including candles.
  10. Do not use extension cords to power decorations.
  11. Make sure decorations on non-fire-rated doors do not interfere with the operation or any required latching of the door.
  12. Decorations should not exceed 30 percent of the wall, ceiling, and door areas inside any room or space of a smoke compartment that is protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system following Section 9.7
  13. If families are decorating their loved ones' rooms, make sure decorations do not exceed 50 percent of the wall, ceiling, and door areas inside sleeping rooms, having a capacity not exceeding four persons in a smoke compartment that is protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system under Section 9.7.

Wishing you all a safe holiday season.