The Catholic University of America


The CUA Holiday Decorating Guidelines are published with the purpose to provide a framework for the holiday decoration and personalization that occurs within the facilities and on the CUA campus. In addition, it attempts to clearly define the parameters of which items are allowed and how/where to place them. Generally, all decorations should adhere to the guidelines listed below. For specific questions, please contact the Facilities Service Center at x5121 or email

Please observe the following guidelines designed to maximize general safety practices, minimize potential fire hazards associated with holiday decorations and to comply with fire prevention regulations:

Interior decorations:

  • Decorations must be kept away from exit signs, fire alarm devices (pull stations, smoke and heat detectors, etc.), fire extinguishers, and emergency and normal-use light fixtures.
  • The use of artificial Christmas trees are permitted provided the placement does not create an obstruction to egress.
  • Live or fresh-cut trees are prohibited.
  • Paper/posters or other combustible material of the sort used as coverings on walls shall NOT occupy greater than 10% of the particular wall's surface area.
  • Use only U.L. approved "mini" or "LED" decorative lights. Large bulb lights such as C7 or C9 are prohibited.
  • Keep decorative lights away from combustible materials (i.e, curtains, paper, etc.).
  • Decorative lights should be turned off when the area or room is unattended.
  • Use U.L. approved power strips with a fuse or a circuit breaker.
  • No electrical cords may be routed through doorways, under carpeting or routed across hallways because they become both a fire hazard and tripping hazard.
  • No items may be attached or hung from sprinkler system piping. This is a particular important requirement because of the potential for breaking the heads, pipes or pipe hangers.
  • The use of spray applied artificial snow or other flammable spray decorations are prohibited.

Please contact Facilities Service Center to request assistance in hanging decorations at an elevated level or if general safety concerns exist.

Public Space:

  • In public spaces, decoration placement shall be coordinated in conjunction with Facilities Operations. Large scale decorations that require hanging, mounting, attachment, etc., in public spaces, shall be placed or have oversight by Facilities Operations personnel.

Exterior Decorations:

  • All University decorations on the exterior of buildings or on the grounds shall be placed by and be the responsibility of Facilities Operations. No other exterior decorations are permitted.