Open Flame and Candle Guidelines

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs allows the use of candles and other decorative open flame devices only during formal events held in the Gallogly Event Center, The Lodge, and University Center Ballroom.  Candles and open flames at all other locations on campus are not allowed unless special permission is granted.  The person reserving the facility for their event will be responsible in ensuring that the following open flame precautions are adhered to during their event. Student clubs may have candles only for ceremonial purposes and only when a staff or faculty advisor is present for the event.

  • Use containers that have been made for candle usage. While common types of candles are acceptable (pillar, votive, taper, floating, tealight, container), an important consideration is stability.  When applicable, candles need to be held firmly by the holder to ensure they do not fall over. The holder must have a sturdy base to keep the candle upright. Do not use taper or pillar candles once they get within 2” of their holders. Hand held candles must have a drip guard.

  • Candles may not be longer than 8 inches (not including base).

  • Place candles on heat resistant surfaces. Many candles, especially tealights, can get hot enough to melt plastic. Remember that some furniture is not fire-resistant.

  • Aisles and exits. Candles will not be placed in an aisle, egress route or near exits.

  • Give your candles space. Position candles away from windows, curtains, and drafts where wind and movement can easily knock them over. Keep candles away from holiday decorations, furniture, and other flammable materials. Also keep matches, wick trimmings, and foreign objects out of candle wax and avoid use of candles with combustible items embedded in the wax.

  • Do not move your candle while it’s lit. Always extinguish prior to moving!

  • Maintain your candles. Do not burn candles for more than four hours at a time. Trim candle wicks to ¼” prior to each use.

  • NEVER leave a candle unattended. Extinguish candles before you leave the room.

  • Extinguish candles properly. Use a snuffer or a spoon to put out candles. This is safer than blowing them out which can send sparks and hot wax flying. Double-check that candles are completely out to ensure they do not smolder and start a fire.

  • Candles may not be used for Proms.

  • Life Safety. Locate the location of fire extinguishers prior to lighting the candles for your event and ensure routes to exits and all exits are accessible.

  • Emergency Notification. Report all emergencies to UCCS Public Safety at 255-3111.

  • Building Manager may reject the use of a specific type of candle if deemed unsafe.  (If unsure, check with Building Manager prior to event)