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Environmental Health & Safety

Candles, Lanterns and Incense Guidelines

Purpose: The purpose of this guideline is to manage the risk of fire at the University caused by the use of candles, lanterns, incense or other open flame produce devices not covered under the hot work program.

Scope: The use of candles, lanterns, tiki lamps, incense, etc. for entertainment, religious purposes, and ambiance or mood purposes can be extremely hazardous. Some recognized religious ceremonies or festivals in which candles play a significant role, such as the Jewish Festival of Lights or Christmas, require the presence of candles. Exceptions can be made for these recognized religious or festive uses of open flames with permission from the University Fire Marshal (call 275-3243).

Guidelines: The following guidelines are broken down by the various campuses to help distinguish the requirements based on the identified risks and code requirements.

Strong Memorial Hospital including all patient care areas: The use of candles is prohibited in Strong Memorial Hospital, except when approved by the University Fire Marshal. Electric candles are the preferred and recommended device.


Medical Center: The use of candles is prohibited in the Medical School except when approved by the University Fire Marshal. Electric candles are the preferred and recommended device. Candles may be used in the chapel with the following conditions:

  • To obtain permission for candles for recognized religious purposes, requests must be submitted, in writing, at least 72 hours in advance of the requested date to the Office of Fire Marshal.  Approval will be granted for specific dates and locations only.
  • Candles must be under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning.
  • Candles are never to be used if oxygen is being used in the room.
  • Candles must be of a low flame variety and must be placed in a properly fitting menorah or in a sturdy, non-combustible container. All devices must be self extinguishing when tipped over, return to an upright position after being tilted to a 45° angle and prevent leakage of more than 1/4 teaspoon of liquid or wax per minute. Otherwise no taper candles are allowed.
  • For religious purposes, candles shall be lit only during the service and must be under constant supervision. Hand-held candles will not be allowed to be passed from one person to another while lighted.
  • Candles may be kept in a glass chimney similar to a hurricane lamp, restaurant style candles (closed glass container that holds the fuel and has a glass chimney), or in a small votive that floats on water.  The container, if tipped, must be capable of containing the entire candle, dripping wax, and any heat within the container. The top may be open but the distance from the flame to the opening shall be such that a single layer of tissue paper will not ignited.
  • No polystyrene foam candle holders or candles in a table or mantle decoration allowed.
  • Candles shall not be placed on windowsills or other areas that are unstable or could come in contact with curtains or other hanging objects.
  • All readily combustible materials, such as drapes or curtains, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.
  • Candles must not be used in close proximity to heat or smoke detectors or sprinkler heads in such a way that heat or smoke might activate the device.

The use of sterno heating devices is permitted as long as the devices are under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning. All readily combustible materials, such as napkins, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.

 

River Campus Buildings: The use of tiki lamps, oil lamps, torches or the burning of incense is prohibited. Possession of these prohibited lighting devices in student residence facilities will result in appropriate student disciplinary measures. The use of candles is prohibited in the majority of River Campus buildings. The use of candles in dormitories is prohibited. Candles may be used in areas of public assembly such as dining rooms and the chapel when approved by the University Fire Marshal. Electric candles are the preferred and recommended device. The use of candles, in other than residence halls, may be approved in compliance with the following conditions:

  • To obtain permission for candles requests must be submitted, in writing, at least 72 hours in advance of the requested date to the Office of Fire Marshal.  Approval will be granted for specific dates and locations only.
  • Candles must be under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning.
  • Candles must be of a low flame variety and must be placed in a properly fitting menorah or in a sturdy, non-combustible container. All devices must be self extinguishing when tipped over, return to an upright position after being tilted to a 45° angle and prevent leakage of more than 1/4 teaspoon of liquid or wax per minute. Otherwise no taper candles are allowed.
  • For religious purposes, candles shall be lit only during the service and must be under constant supervision. Hand-held candles will not be allowed to be passed from one person to another while lighted.
  • Candles may be kept in a glass chimney similar to a hurricane lamp, restaurant style candles (closed glass container that holds the fuel and has a glass chimney), or in a small votive that floats on water. The container, if tipped, must be capable of containing the entire candle, dripping wax, and any heat within the container. The top may be open but the distance from the flame to the opening shall be such that a single layer of tissue paper will not ignited.
  • No polystyrene foam candle holders or candles in a table or mantle decoration allowed.
  • Candles shall not be placed on windowsills or other areas that are unstable or could come in contact with curtains or other hanging objects.
  • All readily combustible materials, such as drapes or curtains, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.
  • Candles must not be used in close proximity to heat or smoke detectors or sprinkler heads in such a way that heat or smoke might activate the device.

The use of sterno heating devices is permitted as long as the devices are under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning. All readily combustible materials, such as napkins, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.

 

Off-Campus Housing: The use of candles, oil lamps, or incense in off-campus housing is strongly discouraged. Electric candles are the preferred and recommended device. If you do use candles, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Candles must be under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning.
  • Only those candles that are kept in a glass chimney similar to a hurricane lamp, restaurant style candles (closed glass container that holds the fuel and has a glass chimney), or in a small votive that floats on water should be used.  The container, if tipped, must be capable of containing the entire candle, dripping wax, and any heat within the container. The top may be open but the distance from the flame to the opening shall be such that a single layer of tissue paper will not ignited.
  • Candles must be of a low flame variety and must be placed in a properly fitting menorah or in a sturdy, non-combustible container. All devices must be self extinguishing when tipped over, return to an upright position after being tilted to a 45° angle and prevent leakage of more than 1/4 teaspoon of liquid or wax per minute. Otherwise no taper candles are allowed.
  • No polystyrene foam candle holders or candles in a table or mantle decoration.
  • Candles shall not be placed on windowsills or other areas that are unstable or could come in contact with curtains or other hanging objects.
  • All readily combustible materials, such as drapes or curtains, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.
  • Candles must not be used in close proximity to heat or smoke detectors or sprinkler heads in such a way that heat or smoke might activate the device.

 

The Memorial Art Gallery: The use of tiki lamps, oil lamps, torches or the burning of incense is prohibited at the MAG. The use of candles is prohibited in the Memorial Art Gallery. Electric candles are the preferred and recommended device. Candles may be used in areas such as the dining room only when approved by the University Fire Marshal and the following conditions apply:

  • To obtain permission for candles the request must be submitted, in writing, at least 72 hours in advance of the requested date to the Office of Fire Marshal.  Approval will be granted for specific dates and locations only.
  • Candles must be under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning.
  • Only those candles that are kept in a glass chimney similar to a hurricane lamp, restaurant style candles (closed glass container that holds the fuel and has a glass chimney), or in a small votive that floats on water should be used.  The container, if tipped, must be capable of containing the entire candle, dripping wax, and any heat within the container. The top may be open but the distance from the flame to the opening shall be such that a single layer of tissue paper will not ignited.
  • No polystyrene foam candle holders or candles in a table or mantle decoration allowed.
  • Candles shall not be placed on windowsills or other areas that are unstable or could come in contact with curtains or other hanging objects.
  • All readily combustible materials, such as drapes or curtains, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.
  • Candles must not be used in close proximity to heat or smoke detectors or sprinkler heads in such a way that heat or smoke might activate the device.

The use of sterno heating devices is permitted as long as the devices are under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning. All readily combustible materials, such as napkins, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.

 

Eastman Campus: The use of tiki lamps, oil lamps, torches or the burning of incense is prohibited in Eastman Campus housing. The use of candles is prohibited in the majority of Eastman Campus buildings. The use of candles in dormitories is prohibited. Candles may be used in areas of public assembly such as dining rooms when approved by the University Fire Marshal. Electric candles are the preferred and recommended device. The use of candles may be approved in compliance with the following conditions:

  • To obtain permission for candles requests must be submitted, in writing, at least 72 hours in advance of the requested date to the Office of Fire Marshal.   Approval will be granted for specific dates and locations only.
  • Candles must be under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning.
  • Candles must be of a low flame variety and must be placed in a properly fitting menorah or in a sturdy, non-combustible container. All devices must be self extinguishing when tipped over, return to an upright position after being tilted to a 45° angle and prevent leakage of more than 1/4 teaspoon of liquid or wax per minute. Otherwise no taper candles are allowed.
  • For religious purposes, candles shall be lit only during the service and must be under constant supervision. Hand-held candles will not be allowed to be passed from one person to another while lighted.
  • Candles may be kept in a glass chimney similar to a hurricane lamp, restaurant style candles (closed glass container that holds the fuel and has a glass chimney), or in a small votive that floats on water. The container, if tipped, must be capable of containing the entire candle, dripping wax, and any heat within the container. The top may be open but the distance from the flame to the opening shall be such that a single layer of tissue paper will not ignited.
  • No polystyrene foam candle holders or candles in a table or mantle decoration allowed.
  • Candles shall not be placed on windowsills or other areas that are unstable or could come in contact with curtains or other hanging objects.
  • All readily combustible materials, such as drapes or curtains, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.
  • Candles must not be used in close proximity to heat or smoke detectors or sprinkler heads in such a way that heat or smoke might activate the device.
  • The use of candles for theatrical performances will require approval from the City of Rochester Fire Marshal's Office and a fire watch might be required.

The use of sterno heating devices is permitted as long as the devices are under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning. All readily combustible materials, such as napkins, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.

 

All Other Areas: The use of candles is prohibited in all other buildings not outlined above unless approved by the University Fire Marshal.

The use of sterno heating devices is permitted as long as the devices are under constant supervision and may not be left unattended while burning. All readily combustible materials, such as napkins, must be secured at least three (3) feet away from the open flame.

Administration:

  • As an alternative, UL listed electrical candles may be used.
  • If deemed necessary, due to the number of people, type of display, or activity, event personnel must be trained in the use of fire extinguishers.
  • Possession of these prohibited lighting/open flame devices in student residence facilities will result in appropriate student disciplinary measures.

 

Date:  12/5/2018                                                                             


QUESTIONS or COMMENTS?
Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 12/5/2018.. Disclaimer.