Fire Safety Regulations for Scenery and Set Decorations


To ensure compliance with fire safety regulations, and to ensure the safety and security of University personnel, guests, and facilities.


Scenery and set decorations for any theatrical production, musical, or other stage performance originating or performed on this campus fall under this policy. Touring shows are subject to inspection by the Campus Code Compliance and Fire Safety (CCC&FS) unit.


This policy is implemented under the authority of the Executive Director of Facilities & Services.


All scenery and set decorations must gain approval of CCC&FS concerning the fire resistance of the scenery and/or set decorations prior to use. Any scenery or set decorations must pass a standard match test and must be witnessed and approved by CCC&FS.

Outdoor and indoor pyrotechnic (fireworks) displays shall be conducted in accordance with applicable state laws including the Pyrotechnic Operator Licensing Act.


  • Scenery and set decorations are defined as any stage material, paraphernalia, scenery, decorations, drapes, curtains, or other material used for scenery and/or set decorations.
  • Standard Test – The standard test is defined as the igniting and burning any ordinary wooden match, which when burning freely shall be held in contact with the material or substance being tested. The test shall be conducted so that the naked flame of the burning match shall be neither aided nor retarded by drafts of currents of air. If the flame from the burning match does not ignite or cause the substance or material being tested to burn or carry a flame or glow upon the removal of the lighted match, the substance or material shall be construed as passing in a satisfactory manner.

All scenery and set decorations as defined above must have approval prior to use.


The standard test for scenery and set decorations shall determine whether or not the materials or substances are capable of carrying fire, flame, or glow when the source of heat and fire is from the burning of an ordinary wooden match.

Permits are required for all pyrotechnic displays and are to be issued by the chief of the fire department providing coverage to the location of the display, or by his/her designee. Before a permit is issued, the pyrotechnic display shall be evaluated and inspected to ensure that it complies with the appropriate National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines.

Indoor pyrotechnic displays are permitted only in buildings completely protected by automatic sprinkler systems unless otherwise permitted in accordance with the rules adopted by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal for implementation of the Pyrotechnic Operator Licensing Act.

No person may act as a lead pyrotechnic operator unless licensed by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

All lead pyrotechnic operators must pay the fee, have the required training and pass an exam administered by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.


Approval requests, enforcement, inspections, and questions should be directed to Campus Code Compliance and Fire Safety (CCC&FS), Facilities & Services Engineering and Construction Services Division,