Holiday Guidelines

Fire Safety Holiday Guidelines

The following fire regulations are offered in the sincere hope that your holiday season will be safe as well as enjoyable. 

Please pay particular attention to the regulation that requires flame-retardant certification for all yuletide trees and other cut greenery displayed in indoor areas frequented by students, staff and faculty.

To comply with these regulations

  • Davis Campus units need to call Facilities Management:  Customer Support Center (530-752-1655) to schedule a time (after Thanksgiving, and through the middle of December) for flame-retardant treatment and certification. 
  • There will be no charge for this service, but only live trees and greenery intended for use within University Facilities will be treated.
  • Compliance is strongly urged within student residence areas on campus.  Student residents may bring trees to the Paint Shop for treatment during the times mentioned above. 
  • If you have any questions regarding compliance with these regulations, call the UC Davis Fire Prevention Office at (530) 752-1493.


Yuletide Trees and Decorations

Yuletide Trees

  • All trees, whether natural or artificial, must be flame retardant and display certification of flame-retartdancy.  Fire retardant treating will be done by the Facilities Management:  Customer Support Center (530-752-1655) starting November 23rd.
  • Natural trees should be re-cut one inch (1”) from the end of the trunk at an angle, and then placed in a tip-resistant stand that holds sufficient water.  Trees may not be displayed on wooden stands provided by the vendors.  Water should be added daily to help prevent the tree from drying out.
  • The use of decorative lights on real or artificial trees within MEDICAL OFFICE FACILITIES (including Student Health, Employee Health, and the Medical Center) is prohibited.
  • Only non-combustible or fire-resistive ornaments may be used.
  • Trees must not obstruct corridors or exit doors, nor block access to fire extinguishers, fire hose cabinets, fire alarm pull stations or exit signs.


  • All light sets must be UL-labeled, free of visible defects, and protected from mechanical damage while in use.  Decorative electrical lights are prohibited on metallic trees.
  • The use of extension cords is discouraged.  If used, cords must be UL-labeled, free of visible defects, and protected from mechanical damage while in use.
  • All decorative lights should be disconnected when a display area is left unattended.


  • Paper decorations must be flame retardant at the time they are purchased.  The Facilities Management: Paint Shop cannot treat crepe paper or similar paper products with a fire retardant material.  For all items there is a product called “FlamortWC” that can be purchased from Flamort Corporation at (510) 357-9494 or online at  This product is certified by the California State Fire Marshal.  Product needs to be applied to item prior to painting in order to be effective.
  • Decorations must not obstruct exit doors and exit signs.
  • Open flame devices, including candles, are prohibited.
  • Decorations must not be hung from the fire sprinkler system or smoke detectors, and should not be hung from the ceiling in such a manner that the spray of the pattern of a sprinkler head is obstructed.
  • Decorations attached to corridor ceilings must not hang lower than seven feet (7’) from the floor.
  • All decorations, including food and gift collection barrels, must be constructed of non-combustible material (i.e., steel) or treated with flame retardant or painted with intumescent paint.
  • Permits are required for decorating any major public assembly area.  Contact the UC Davis Fire Prevention Office at (530) 752-1493 to acquire a permit prior to decorating.

Decoration Removal

  • Please remove all trees and decorations no more than five (5) working days after the holiday.

Thanksgiving Safety

Turkey fryers

UL considers turkey fryers to be dangerous to use presenting numerous safety hazards to consumers. "We're worried by the increasing reports of fires related with turkey fryer use," says John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager of UL. "Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with our trusted UL Mark."

Turkey fryer hazards
  • Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil from the cooking pot.
  • If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner or flames, causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
  • Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too may result in an extensive fire.
  • With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
  • The lid and handles on the sides of the cooking pot get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

Important safety information

If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, please use the following tips.

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fir

Thank you for your help and cooperation in making this holiday season fire safe.  If you have any questions, please contact the UC Davis Fire Prevention Office.