Open Flames (New) DRAFT


To maintain a safe and secure environment for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors regarding Open Flame Devices.


This policy applies to all University Community Members and visitors on University Property.


Executive Director of Facilities and Services


The use of Open Flame Devices is not allowed on University Property or in association with university-sponsored events or functions, except as indicated below:

  1. Open Flame Devices may be used during classroom and laboratory exercises for purposes of instruction or research when conducted under the supervision of a trained instructor or lab personnel as outlined by the Division of Research Safety (
  2. Open Flame Devices are permitted in university teaching kitchens when used for purposes of food preparation following manufacturer instructions. Refer to University Housing policies for cooking in your room or suites,
  3. Outdoor grilling may be allowed upon approval from Facilities and Services– Code Compliance and Fire Safety department or when in compliance with rules established by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) for outdoor tailgating.
  4. Handheld candles may be used for events or vigil activities under the conditions outlined in the handheld candles or vigil activities guideline.
  5. Pyrotechnic special effect devices are permitted to be used on stages, only if approved in writing by the authority having jurisdiction (contact to start this process), after assessing that appropriate safety precautions comply with National Fire Protection Association requirements.
  6. Open Flame Devices are permitted for construction and maintenance work when covered by the Facility and Services Hot Work Permitting Program.

Use of an open-flame device without approval under the policy, in violation of law, and/or not in accordance with a granted exception or approval is considered a violation of this policy and may result in discipline in accordance with applicable university policies and procedures or other consequences, such as potential civil or criminal action in accordance with applicable civil and criminal laws.


Open Flame Devices means candles, grills, open fires, torches, butane burners or other device(s) which, when used emits a flame.

University Community Members means all university employees (including faculty and staff), students, Registered Organizations, and Registered Student Organizations.

University Property means all buildings, grounds and other internal and external spaces owned or controlled by the university.

Visitor means any individual or group who is not a University Community Member.


  1. Individuals or organizations requesting use of Open Flames Devices for use with any style of grill and in conjunction with the approved use of University Property, must submit a Grill Safety Form to for review and approval. Forms should be submitted at least ten (10) business days prior to the date proposed for use. Each organization intending to use a grill at their event will be provided with a copy of Facilities and Services’ guidelines for Grill Safety.
  2. Individuals participating in tailgating activities during DIA events must adhere to safety rules posted here
  3. Accidents or injuries should be reported immediately to University of Illinois Division of Public Safety 217-333-1216 (call 911 for an emergency). In addition, an injured party or facility representative should complete the Personal Injury Report and submit to the Office of Claims Management.


This requirement shall not apply to Illinois Fire Service Institute training facility and training exercises or university food service operations. Refer to Sterno Safety Guidelines for use and disposal of sterno type burners.

Individuals wishing to apply for a variance to the policy must submit a request to Code Compliance and Fire Safety ten (10) days in advance, and include:

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

University units needing an exception not already contained in this policy must receive written approval from Code Compliance and Fire Safety.