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Fire Safety Regulations for Indoor Display of Evergreen Trees

Any one wishing to display an evergreen tree during the holiday season must be aware of the following State fire safety regulations. These regulations apply to all University facilities.

Prohibited Locations

Live and Fresh Cut Trees are prohibited in the buildings listed below. Artificial trees are permitted if approved in accordance with the regulations.

  • University Health Center (healthcare)
  • Center for Young Children (daycare/educational)
  • University of Maryland Police Station (detention facilities)

Fresh Cut Trees

  • Fresh cut trees must bear a tag issued to the grower by the State Fire Marshal. The tag indicates the date on which the tree must be removed from the building along with other information.
  • A fresh cut tree may be displayed for a maximum of 21 days from the original placement in the building.
  • If the tree is not to be immediately placed in the building, it must be stored outside in a shaded area or inside in an unheated area.
  • The tree must be placed in the building within two days of the original cut.
  • Immediately before placement in a building, the tree must have an additional fresh cut made across the base of the trunk at least two (2) inches from the butt of the tree. No bark may be removed.
  • The tree must immediately be placed in a tree stand which has a minimum water capacity of two (2) gallons. The tree must be watered on a daily basis an a record of watering kept.
  • The maximum height of a tree is 10 feet excluding the stand.
  • Although strongly recommended, the tag regulation for fresh cut trees does not apply to single family homes. At the University, this would only apply to the single family employee residences such as those on Farm Drive, Azalea Lane, and the President's Residence.

Live Trees

A live tree is a tree that has been uprooted and its roots protected by an earthen ball wrapped in burlap and placed in a pot. There are no specific regulations regarding live trees. Care must be taken to keep the trees alive. Trees that are dying (drying out, loosing needles, etc.) must be promptly removed from the building.

Artificial Trees

Artificial trees must be labeled (UL, FM, etc.) or otherwise certified by the manufacturer as flame retardant of flame resistant.

All Trees

  • Trees must not be placed near vents or any heating appliances.
  • Trees must not be placed in hazardous locations such as laboratories.
  • Trees must not be placed in any stairwell, corridor, exit way, or other means of egress.
  • Only electric decorative lights and associated wiring for decorative lights which are listed by an approved testing laboratory (UL, FM, etc.) may be used. Flame producing devices such as, but not limited to candles, may not be used on or near any tree.
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