The Safety Office has issued guidelines for the use of holiday decorations in all Institute buildings.
Flammable decorations are prohibited under Massachusetts fire prevention regulations. Noncombustible decorations or those labeled as flameproof are permitted.
All Christmas trees and decorative boughs must be artificial, with an approved flame-retardant label. The use of open flames for candles, other lighting and decorative purposes is prohibited by the Cambridge Fire Department.
Only UL-approved lights rated for use on artificial trees are to be used. Larger tree lights normally used on natural trees generate enough heat to melt plastic and ignite decorations. Miniature or "twinkle" lights are preferred.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 10, 1997.