Assuring the safety of Towson University students, employees, visitors and facilities is paramount. Therefore, it is imperative that the campus community adheres to these guidelines at all times, regardless of the reason or season.

General Guidelines

  • Only those materials labeled as non-combustible, flame-resistant or flame-retardant should be used.
  • Do not block or obscure exits, passageways to exits, or exit and
    emergency lights.
  • Keep all materials at least three feet away from heat sources.
  • Exit signs, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, emergency lights and audible fire signals/strobe lights cannot be
    decorated, covered or obstructed in any way.

Open Flames, Candles and Lanterns

Except as specified below, the use of candles, incense or any type of open flame device for any purpose is strictly prohibited in university buildings.

  • Open flames: The use of open flame devices (such as tiki lamps, oil lamps, torches, etc.) is absolutely prohibited in university buildings and must be approved for outdoor use by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) on a case-to-case basis.
  • Enclosed flames: Devices using controlled or enclosed flames (such as candles and lanterns) are prohibited in university housing and may not normally be used for decoration anywhere. Limited use of open-flame devices may be permitted only under certain conditions when approved by EHS.
  • Ceremonies: The use of candles, incense or any type of open flame device for ceremonial purposes is strictly prohibited in university buildings.
  • Mood and scent candles: Mood and scent candles are strictly prohibited in all university buildings.
  • Incense: The use of incense is strictly prohibited in all university buildings.

Fire Permits

  • TU Fire Permit: All outdoor ceremonies and outdoor cooking utilizing open fires or grills require a TU Fire Permit, which is issued by EHS at no charge to campus organizations.
  • Bonfire Permit: Bonfires (with a flame base greater than or equal to five feet in diameter) require a Bonfire Permit issued by the State Fire Marshal (SFM). This permit must be acquired at least ten business days prior to the date of the event. The SFM’s office charges a permit fee for a Bonfire Permit.

All permits are weather dependent and may be affected by seasonal weather conditions such as droughts. Contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at 410-704-2949 or