Fire Safety for Open Flame Devices Policy

  • Facility Support Services
  • Occupational Safety & Risk Management
  • Research Safety & Services

    The objective of this policy is to provide guidelines and procedures by which open flame devices may be used upon the University of Florida campus.


    Organizations, groups, and individuals are not permitted to have open flame devices within University buildings unless the building or area is specifically designed for such devices or written permission has been granted by EH&S. Open flame devices are defined as candles, torches, butane burners or any other flame producing device. Chemical, biological, engineering, or teaching labs where the open flame is part of the research/educational process, and kitchens with an exhaust hood and pre-engineered extinguishing system are exempt from this policy. Maintenance staff or construction crews in compliance with the University of Florida Hot Work Policy are also exempt.

    The use of unmanned, free floating sky lanterns and similar devices utilizing an open flame are prohibited from use on or launch from University buildings, property or land.

    Open flame devices are strictly prohibited for use within Dickinson Hall regardless of the reason.


    The following University requirements for the use of open flame devices are drawn from the currently adopted versions of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) Life Safety Code 101, and Fire Code NFPA 1.


    Environmental Health and Safety

    Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) shall review and either approve or deny the use of open flame devices in a timely manner. The organization, group, or individual applying for the use of open flame devices must provide a layout of the venue that shall include the location of the devices, the approximate length of open flame, location and number of fire extinguishers. They shall also determine if the building is equipped with a fire alarm and/or fire sprinkler system(s).
    EH&S shall determine if any additional measures shall be required prior to signing the special events form. A copy of the approved form shall be available during the event for review by EH&S or the University Police Department (UPD). UPD and/or EH&S may suspend the use of open flame devices at their sole discretion.

    Organizations, Groups and Individuals

    Organizations, groups, and individuals sponsoring events that include open flame devices must complete the “Special Events Form”. Each event will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine the appropriateness of the venue for open flame devices. Open flame devices will only be approved when appropriate measures have been taken to insure fire safety. The form may be obtained at the Student Activities Center in the Reitz Union, room 300. Call (352) 392-1671 for information.

    Candles are not permitted in offices, classrooms, dorm rooms, hotel rooms, or fraternities/sororities. Candles are permitted in the Baughman Center for religious/ceremonial purposes only and must be constantly attended while they are lit. Open flame devices are not permitted in the University Auditorium or Austin Cary lodge.

    Open flame devices are permitted in Phillips Performing Arts Center and Constans Theater only in conjunction with theatrical performances.  Use of open flame device require prior written plan and plan approval from EH&S.

    Open flame devices are permitted in the O’Connell Center with prior written plan and plan approval from EH&S.  Open flame devices are strictly prohibited during any type of trade show or fair.

    Candle light vigils are permitted if the venue is outside of all buildings or breezeways. Candles shall be lit outside and extinguished prior to entrance to any building.

    The use of LED tea lights and candles is encouraged for use within buildings and dining venues.

    Revised/Reviewed January, 2018