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Open Flame Devices and Candles

Indoor Use

The use of candles and other open flame decorative devices are prohibited within all Cornell University Buildings and within all tents.  Battery powered LED "candles" are recommended as an alternative for indoor decorative displays.  An exception to this is use of candles at Sage Chapel; however, a candle use permit must be applied for (Candle Use Permit - Religious & Instructional Use Form).

Outdoor Use

Outdoor use of candles and other open flame decorative devices (i.e. tiki torches, oil lamps, etc.) are allowed with the following requirements:

  • Completion of an Event Registration Form
  • Attended at all times while lit
  • At least 25 feet from buildings, tents, and vehicles
  • At least 6 feet from walkways (candle light vigils may occur on walkways and plazas)
  • Kept away from combustible materials and vegetation
  • Completely extinguished after use
  • Persons holding candles must keep them away from others, and lit candles may not be passed from one person to another

The use of Candles and Open Flame Devices for Religious & Instructional Purposes

After review and approval by The University Fire Marshals Office and Risk Management & Insurance, the indoor use of candles may be permitted for religious and instructional purposes, or for theatrical productions in the Schwartz Center. Please contact The University Fire Marshals Office at (607) 255-8200 to discuss.

NOTE: Candles used in the following ways are NOT considered as being used for religious or instructional use: birthday candles, candles on tables at receptions or dinners, candles used for decorative purposes (including holiday displays).

More Information

For further information email or call (607) 255-8200.