Fire Safety


The purpose of this procedure is to ensure the safety and health of personnel who perform hot work and those in the vicinity of hot work being performed by others. This program will be used to ensure that personnel performing hot work are familiar with the dangers associated with hot work and the precautions that are necessary. The scope of this procedure will include all applicable faculty and staff at GSU as well as contractors performing hot work at the GSU campus.


OSHA 29 CFR 1910.252-255


Combustible Material- Any material that is capable of catching fire and burning.

Hot Work- Any temporary operation involving open flames or that results in sparks, fire, molten slag, heat, or hot material with the potential to cause fires or explosions. This includes, but is not limited to, soldering, brazing, torch cutting, grinding, arc welding/cutting, gas welding, etc.

Exceptions to this definition include Bunsen burners and other fire or heat generating laboratory equipment when used in a laboratory, and activities performed within designated shop or studio areas.

Additional details about the Hot Work Program can be read at GSU EHS Hot Work Program
GSU Hot Work permits can be retrieved from the EHS department:
Phone: 708-235-6823 or


Portable Heaters- For safety purposes primarily, no portable heating or cooling devices that require refrigerant, or either that require more than 2 amperes, may be used in University owned spaces unless it is either provided by the University through FDM, or its use is approved by the Chief Operating Engineer. Such devices may only be utilized in areas where Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems cannot maintain the specified temperature range and/or be rectified with reasonable time and effort of FDM staff. Responsible Party: Associate Vice President for Facilities Development Management.


Open Flames- Candles, oil lamps, incense, torches, butane burners, and any other combustible material devices are considered “open flame devices.” Open flame devices carry with them the risk of unintentional fire and serious consequences when not used appropriately. Therefore, the use of any open flame device is prohibited in all University residential and non-residential buildings. Situations that do call for the use of open flame devices can be reviewed under special circumstances through a variance request submitted to Environmental Health and Safety.

Holiday Decorations

To minimize the potential fire hazards associated with holiday season decorations, GSU Environmental Health and Safety department recommends strict observation of the following guidelines:

  • Hanging combustibles from the ceiling, ceiling tiles or ceiling fixtures is not allowed. This includes paper, cardboard, wood, cloth, and plastic.
  • Ensure combustibles are not hung on walls within 18” of a (ceiling-mounted sprinkler heads or within 2 feet of any ceiling where sprinklers are not present and smoke detectors) as they constitute a fire hazard. Heat and smoke rise and combustibles mounted near the ceiling will contribute to a fire. No objects may be hung from or near sprinkler heads as this may affect their performance.
  • Ensure that decorations do not pose a trip hazard or otherwise provide an obstruction to walking or sitting.
  • Ensure that all corridors and hallways, including those inside work areas are open, clear, and provide the required unobstructed egress.
  • Ensure that decorations do not obstruct lights, light switches or electrical outlets or obstruct or interfere with passage on stairwells, hallways, and corridors.
  • Decorations must be at least 36” away from portable fire extinguishers, exit signs, pull stations, fire alarm strobes, fire hose cabinets, and smoke detectors.
  • Ensure that decorations do not obstruct or interfere with any line-of-sight visibility of approved exit signs and exit routes.
  • Ensure that decorations are not accessible to young children as much as possible. Ensure that decorations are not breakable or edible. Decorations should not be secured with hooks that could be a choking hazard.
  • Decorative items placed on walls shall be secured against becoming dislodged, falling from the support, or becoming a hazard to nearby persons.

Trees and other decorations must be located so as not to obstruct exit corridors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler heads, exit signs, fire alarm pull stations, smoke alarms or heat detectors. Do not affix or tie decorations to such equipment. Trees should also not block emergency egress from any room.

  • Decorations shall not be placed within three (3) feet of electrical equipment or other heat producing sources.
  • Electric light strings should carry a UL or FM approval label. Prior to use, check for fraying, bare wires, loose connections and cracked plastic parts. If any of these conditions are present, the string or cord should not be used. Use of miniature electric lights are encouraged since they are both cooler and more energy efficient than regular size lighting. Light strings should not be routed through doorways with doors, under rugs or loose carpeting or across work surfaces. Routing of cords through these areas can cause damage to the cord and create a tripping hazard. Unplug holiday lighting when the area is unoccupied.
  • UL-listed surge protectors should be used instead of extension cords to prevent circuit overloading. Frayed or broken cords should not be used. “Daisy-chaining” surge protectors and using multi-plug adapters are prohibited in university buildings.
  • Displays should be compact. Garlands, streamers or displays that extend down a hallway should not be used because of their potential to spread fire and impede egress. These displays should be confined to office areas (laboratories should not have any displays).
  • Candles, oil lamps, incense or other open flame devices are prohibited on campus. Decorative candles should have their wicks clipped or capped to discourage lighting.
  • Please remove all trees and decorations before leaving campus for the holidays.
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