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UMMC’s Holiday Gathering and Decoration Guidelines

Novemeber 11, 2021

TO:All Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM:Dr. Jonathan Wilson, Chief Administrative Officer

SUBJECT: UMMC’s Holiday Gathering and Decoration Guidelines

As the Medical Center prepares for the upcoming holiday season, we want to offer a warm and appealing - yet safe - environment for all UMMC patients, visitors and staff.


As an academic medical center, we will comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s  COVID-19-related safety guidelines. As such, UMMC-associated holiday gatherings, office parties and other social events must comply with our event safety guidelines found here. The requirement to adhere to these guidelines applies whether the event occurs on UMMC-owned or leased property or not. In order for UMMC funds to be used to pay for any part of an event, the COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for UMMC Sponsored Events found here must be met and the request form, which includes a follow-up attestation statement, that is linked on that page must be submitted and approved.


The following rules must be followed for all holiday decorations or displays at the Medical Center.     

  • The Fire Safety Specialist is responsible for ensuring the fire and electrical safety of holiday decorations and displays in accordance with federal, state and local fire regulations.
  • No LIVE Christmas trees, tree branches, pine cones, mistletoe or other natural foliage is allowed to be used for decoration at the Medical Center.
  • Do not use electrical lighting strings or other similar devices.
  • Candles and other flame-producing devices are strictly prohibited.
  • All holiday decorations must be fire/flame-retardant. All Christmas trees, regardless of size, are to be Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-listed and labeled as flame retardant.
  • Do not place decorations on light fixtures, electrical equipment, electrical outlets, circuit breaker panels, etc.
  • Do not place decorations or other objects so that they obstruct any exit corridor, doorway or stairway.
  • Do not place decorations or other objects so that they obstruct access or visibility to exits, exit signs, fire alarm pull stations, alarm panels, fire extinguisher cabinets, sprinkler heads, etc.
  • No fire doors or smoke doors can be decorated. Wrapping paper or combustible items cannot be used to decorate any door.
  • Do not attach any item to a sprinkler head.
  • Do not place decorations within 18 inches of the ceiling in an area with a sprinkler head or within 24 inches of the ceiling in areas without sprinkler heads.
  • Decorations may not extend more than 4½ inches into corridors.
  • Decorations shall not be placed within 3 feet of electrical equipment or other heat-producing sources.
  • Decorations in classrooms, laboratories, offices, etc., should be capable of being affixed to bulletin boards, glass windows, interior doors, etc.
  • Flammable paper products, such as streamers, mobiles, etc., may not be hung from the ceiling.

Thank you for your assistance with keeping UMMC safe during this holiday season.