The Do’s and Do Not’s When Decorating in Public Buildings

Buildings located at UNLV, Shadow Lane and NSC are public buildings belonging to the state of Nevada. Because they are public buildings, to install decorations within these buildings we must follow the requirements in the International Fire Code and the National Fire Protection Association Standards.

We agree, decorations provide a sense of celebration, i.e. UNLV football homecoming, a birthday and holidays. Most decorations are made of combustible materials and if a fire should occur these decorations could quickly spread the fire and produce dark smoke trapping occupants. You can install decorations, but we must follow these three sections within the Fire Code:

  • Applying and attaching decorative materials from acoustical ceiling systems which is part of the fire resistance-rated horizontal assembly is prohibited. This is stating hanging paper and steamers from the ceiling tiles especially in a room or building that is not protected with a fire sprinkler system is not permitted.
  • Curtains, draperies, fabric hanging and other similar combustible decorative materials shall not exceed 10 percent of the wall space or ceiling area to which such materials are attached. (Use of non-combustible material has no limit in sprinkler protected areas.) The use of non-combustible streamers would be permitted. Hanging or attaching of any material on fire sprinkler piping or head is prohibited. This is stating you cannot hang or attach anything to the fire sprinkler pipe or sprinkler head. You cannot block a sprinkler head with any material.
  • Hanging of decorations, curtains and lights around the door should be avoided because it may hinder occupants from exiting the room.
  • When decoration lights are used, ensure that the lights are UL (Underwriter Laboratories) approved and plugged directly into a wall outlet or a power- strip with surge protector. Do not use extension cords.
  • Avoid hanging any heavy objects from the ceiling, due to the possibility that the object could fall from the ceiling striking someone.

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