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Open Flame Policy

Open flame devices carry with them the risk of unintentional fire and serious consequences when not used appropriately. The intent of this policy is to reduce the potential for fire hazard(s), which will in turn reduce the risk of loss of property and/or life on University of the Pacific Campuses.

Environmental Health and Safety is responsible to review all exception requests for the use of open flame devices and either approve or deny the request in a timely manner.  Permissions shall be considered on a case-by-case basis for special events, and only when the appropriate safety measures are implemented.  Hot work permits shall be issued through Facilities.  Additionally, Engineering may issue hot work permits for Engineering Shop 126 only.  See the Hot Work Program for more information on Hot Work procedures.


ContactResponsible Items
Environmental Health and SafetyRequest for open flame devices
Physical PlantHot Work Requests
EngineeringHot Work Requests for Engineering South Campus Lab, Room 126 (Machine Shop)


Open Flame DeviceFlame producing devices, candles, torches, butane burners, lanterns, oil lamps and other lighting devices using open flame.
Hot WorkOperations including cutting, welding, thermite welding, brazing, soldering, grinding, thermal spraying, thawing pipe, installation of torch-applied roof systems or any other similar activity.


Policy Statement
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 via email at
This policy is not intended to restrict the use of open flame devices in controlled settings, such as laboratories or food service, where open flame is used in daily activities. Maintenance staff, construction crews, and Engineering must be in compliance with the university's Hot Work Program and are exempt from this policy. Only Physical Plant, Risk Management EHS Personnel, or authorized Engineering Faculty and Technicians (overseeing Engineering Shop 126) may approve of hot work on campus.

Due to the significant risk of fire from flame producing devices, candles, lanterns, oil lamps, fireworks, explosives and other lighting devices using an open flame, e.g. Hookahs, or those which emit high heat are prohibited.   In addition, the use of open flames fueled by charcoal or propane tanks are strictly prohibited from university campus buildings and grounds.

Permissible conditions
The following conditions are permissible under this policy, and do not require prior approval:

  • Use of food steam or heating tray devices, by Dining Services, as long as the warmers are placed on a non-combustible surface.
  • Open flames used in laboratory buildings for experiments and research, strictly under the supervision of Professors, Lab Instructors or Principal Investigators.
  • Gas Barbeques, used by Dining Services, in approved locations.
  • Morris Chapel; however, use is limited to certain areas and must be approved by the Chaplain.

“Open flames are not permitted in residence halls.  Students who utilize open flames for religious or spiritual observance must complete a request form from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life may grant usage of the multi-faith chapel on campus. “

All other individuals wishing to apply for a variance to the policy must submit a request to Environmental Health and Safety 14 days in advance, and include:

  • the name of the individual responsible for the use of the open flame device,
  • the layout of the venue,
  • location(s) where the open flame devices will be used,
  • approximate length of the open flame,
  • location(s) of fire extinguishers and other fire safety precautions.

Employees found using or allowing the unauthorized use of any open flame devices will be issued a verbal and/or written notification to remove the item immediately. The employee's supervisor will be notified, and a notice of non-compliance will be issued to address the safety violation.

If students and/or staff in a Residence Hall building are found using any open flame devices contrary to the restrictions imposed by University Housing Services, they will be required to dispose of the item(s) immediately, and the individual will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards to address the violation.

Contact Information

SubjectDepartment Phone/Email/WebpagePhone/Email/Webpage
Open FlamesRisk Management(209)
AccommodationsReligious and Spiritual Life


Related Information


University Links

Enterprise Risk Management



Related Links

Procedures  N/A

About This Policy
Last Updated
Original Issue Date

Responsible Department
Enterprise Risk Management