Deck the Halls in Fire Safety

As we move into the latter part of the year, we look forward to the Holiday season.  Many organizations decorate their facilities to help staff and patients get into the festive mood.  However, we often observe significant violations of fire safety that could result in your organization not having a happy holiday.  For each year from 2012 to 2014, an estimated 5,700 medical facility fires were reported to fire departments in the United States, per the U.S. Fire Administration.  The use of flammable decorations contributed to the number of these occurrences.  This includes decorations that were not rated as flame retardant, decorations that block access to fire extinguishers and pull stations, use of heat-producing lights, decorations that block egress, decorations that inhibit effective sprinkler discharge patterns, and quantity of decorations applied to walls/ceilings/doors that affect the ability of these features to retard smoke and fire.  The 2012 Edition of NFPA 101 provides direction on the placing of decorations in facilities.  We recommend that your organization’s fire safety director provide guidance regarding the use of holiday decorations to ensure your organization is safe this season.  Additionally, non-holiday decorations such as posters, pictures, art work, etc. also are regulated by the NFPA guidelines.  Your organization should ensure that “regular” décor does not violate fire safety regulations as well and needs to consider the cumulative impact of the addition of holiday decorations to those non-holiday items that also contribute to creating the risk of fire.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season and hope for a bright new year!

Please contact us for questions or more information at  704-573-4535 or

Courtemanche & Associates specializes in Healthcare Accreditation and Regulatory Compliance Consulting Services. With over 29 years of being in business and 100+ years of healthcare experience amongst our consulting team, we are ready to assist with your accreditation and regulatory compliance needs. Facebook Linkedin

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