Open Flame Policy

In order to promote the safety and well-being of students, staff, and faculty, Augsburg College prohibits the use of open flames and the possession of items intended to use open flames in office areas or residence halls. Items considered to use open flames include, but are not limited to candles, incense, fueled lamps, hookahs, etc. Generally, this includes anything utilizing a wick, flame, or consuming flammable substances.

This policy was adopted in recognition of the dangers associated with open flames and in response to previous residence hall fires at Augsburg. Recent fire-related tragedies at other college campuses have reinforced the need to enact this policy. Augsburg’s policy is consistent with similar ones adopted by most institutions of higher education and represents a fire safety “best practice” (as identified by insurance underwriters and fire departments).

This policy also recognizes certain exceptions:

  • Open flames are permitted in the academic environment (laboratories, studios, workshops) and elsewhere on campus as a necessary part of assigned work (e.g., food service, building maintenance). Students and employees are expected to continuously monitor any open flame and have an appropriate fire extinguisher immediately available.
  • For religious observances, lit candles, incense, etc., are allowed in campus chapels and other spaces, provided permission is obtained from Event and Conference Planning or Student Affairs. Students and employees are expected to continuously monitor any open flame and have an appropriate fire extinguisher immediately available.
  • Lit candles may be used in dining areas provided permission is obtained from Event and Conference Planning and with the aforementioned expectation of monitoring and an appropriate fire extinguisher immediately available.