Open Flames


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.


Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Facilities & 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 association with all university internal teaching kitchens, dining halls or university sponsored events which includes third party caterers, when used for purposes of food preparation following manufacturer instructions and any facility policies or procedures.
  3. Outdoor grilling may be allowed upon approval from Facilities & 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 these guidelines. Other alternative open flame devices are to be reviewed for code compliance and fire safety. For written approval prior to the event please email
  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.
  7. For use in University Housing, refer to University Housing policies for Fire Safety policies in residence halls.
  8. Chaffing burners for the warming of food during approved events are permitted upon approval of the facility’s Designated Official and in compliance with the Sterno Safety Guidelines.
  9. This requirement shall not apply to Illinois Fire Service Institute training facility.
  10. This requirement shall not apply to activities associated with a native recognized religious ceremony or ritual by American Indians that is in accordance with the federal American Indian Religious Freedom Act, sections 1996 and 1996a of Title 42 of the United States Code.

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, as established by local governing bodies such as Urbana or Champaign.


Designated Official means the individual who has been appointed by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee to manage events and activities and to make decisions about use of specific University Property.

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 Application 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.


Exceptions are outlined in the Policy.

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

Requests must be submitted 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.