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Office of Research Services

Serving the NIH Community


Fire Safety During the Holiday Season

With the approach of the holiday season, many of us look forward to decorating our workplace. When planning, here are some practical guidelines to minimize fire hazards. Many of these fire safety tips are equally appropriate for your home as well.

  • Christmas trees may be displayed beginning Monday, November 28, 2011 through Friday, January 6, 2012.
  • Only small artificial trees are permitted in laboratory areas.
  • The height of natural trees is limited to four feet. Be sure that the tree base is submerged in water at all times.
  • Display trees and decorations away from room exits in a manner that does not obstruct entering or leaving the room. Trees are not permitted in corridors or stairwells.
  • All artificial trees and decorations must be made of flame retardant or non-combustible materials. Non-combustible decorations are safer and are preferred.
  • Open flame candles (including menorahs with candles) are not permitted.
  • Because of the risk of electrical shock, lights are not to be used on aluminum trees.

These guidelines apply only to Bethesda campus facilities. For other NIH occupied facilities, contact your local fire department for guidance.

The Division of the Fire Marshal, Office of Research Services, wishes everyone the happiest of holidays and a fire-safe and prosperous New Year.

If you have any questions concerning holiday fire safety issues in the workplace, or in the home, please contact the Division of the Fire Marshal at (301) 496-0487.