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Fire Safety - Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Items Prohibited in Non-Residential Buildings

The following are fire safety guidelines and prohibited items for all non-residential buildings:

  • Extension cords. Power strips are a safer alternative to extension cords. While “surge protectors” are permitted, any power strip must have at a minimum a grounded plug, a reset switch (internal circuit breaker or fuse), and be listed. Extension cords issued by Facilities Operations & Maintenance for their staff is permitted only for short-term, temporary tasks where power strips are ineffective.
  • Nothing shall be placed and/or attached to any sprinkler piping, sprinkler head, smoke detector, heat detectors, carbon monoxide detector, manual fire pull station, or light fixture.

  • Personal belongings and/or college issued furniture may not block room egress, or door swing (must fully open and fully close).

  • No combustible decorations or combustible signs shall be displayed on any fire doors, egress door, in stairwells, or on exits. Decorative materials and signs may not hang down over doorway openings, or cover or obstruct any life safety device. This includes “EXIT” signs, emergency lights, smoke detectors, heat detectors, manual fire pull stations, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, AEDs, electrical panels, etc.

  • Occupants are prohibited from attaching any item to the ceiling of a space, or to any wall within 24” of the ceiling.

  • Non-college issued upholstered furniture.

  • All electronics must be listed by the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory program (NRTL). This includes UL, FM, and NSF.

  • All of the following are prohibited items in non-residential buildings:

    • Microwaves (Microwaves are permitted in designated cooking areas ONLY with Safe T Sensor)

    • Cooking and cooking appliances (are permitted in designated cooking areas)

    • Toasters (are permitted in designated cooking areas)

    • Toaster ovens (are permitted in designated cooking areas)

    • Lamps and lights with upward facing bowl shades

    • Lamps shades that are not metal and vented

    • Lamps with exposed bulb (No shade)

    • Clamp-on lamps and lights

    • Halogen lamps or bulbs

    • Lava lamps

    • Extension cords

    • Outlet extender, multi-plug adapter, relocatable power taps

    • Non-college issued space heaters

    • Appliances/electrical equipment in need of repair or which may be considered hazardous

    • Fake spider webs

    • Shag or high-pile rugs

    • Cut corn stalks

    • Straw/Hay decorations

    • Cut trees or plants

    • Door coverings (in excess of 20% of total door surface area)

    • Artificial trees or wreaths without proof of flame resistant materials

    • Decorative lights strings

    • Flammable/combustible gases and liquids (permitted in select work areas ONLY with Office of Emergency Management AND Office of Environmental Health & Safety approval)

    • Oil lamps

    • Fireworks

    • Easy-light charcoal briquettes

    • Candles

    • Incense

    • Scented oil warmers


A list of items prohibited in residential buildings can be found here.