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Open Flames Policy


Candles, torches, butane burners, and any other flame producing 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 via email at


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 the University of the Pacific Campuses. 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 or construction crews must be in compliance with Physical Plant's Hot Work Policy, and are exempt from this policy. Only Physical Plant may approve of hot work on campus. For additional information, please contact Physical Plant.


Due to the significant risk of fire from flame producing devices, candles, lanterns, oil lamps, and other lighting devices using an open flame, e.g. Hookah's 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 Professors, Lab Instructors or Principal Investigators supervision.
  • 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.

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

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


Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for the administration of this policy.


Environmental Health and Safety will review all requests for the use of open flame devices and either approve or deny the request in a timely manner. Permissions will be considered on a case by case basis for special events, and only when the appropriate safety measures are implemented.


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 residents and/or staff of 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 immediately, and the individual will be referred to the Associate Director of Housing to address the violation.

About This Policy
Last Updated
Original Issue Date

Responsible Department
Budget and Risk Management