Safety Policies

SY30 Open Flame Devices

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Steve Triebold, 863-3915,

Policy Steward: 

Director of Environmental Health and Safety



To establish a policy to eliminate a potential fire hazard to students, faculty, staff and guests occupying University Owned or Operated facilities.


The presence or use of candles, incense burners, sky lanterns or other open flame devices is prohibited in all University facilities. This policy shall not apply to devices such as bunsen burners used in laboratories, building fireplaces that have previously been approved for use, food preparation activities associated with Auxiliary Services and candles for approved applications.

Individuals wanting to use an open flame device for a specific event must obtain approval from Environmental Health and Safety.


Candle: Any device that contains wax, paraffin or other substances in which a wick is ignited to produce a visible flame.

Incense Burner: A substance that is burned to produce a pleasant odor.

Open Flame Devices: Any device which when used has a visible flame such as Oil lamps, Gas Lamps and Sterno burners.

Sky Lanterns:  An unmanned device with a fuel source that incorporated an open flame to make the device airborne.



This policy shall apply to all Pennsylvania State University owned or operated facilities, with the exception of the Hershey Medical Center.


The success of this policy depends upon obtaining and maintaining the cooperation of all University employees and students. It is the responsibility of all members of the Penn State community to observe this policy. Each University member is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy at his / her level of involvement in the University community.


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.


Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

SY13 - Open Fires


Most Recent Changes:

  • January 13, 2023 - Editorial change to update Policy Steward.
  • March 06, 2019 - Added Sky Lantern prohibition and definition.

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • June 18, 2014 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.

  • January 30, 2001 - New policy.

Date Approved: 

March 6, 2019

Date Published: 

March 6, 2019

Effective Date: 

March 6, 2019