Open Flame Policy – Albright College

Open Flame Policy

Policy Name Open Flame Policy
Policy Category Safety
Responsible Department Environmental Health and Safety
Original Policy Date 3/27/2015
Last Known Revision Date 2/16/2021
Current Policy Effective Date 2/15/2022
Recommended Policy Review Date 2/15/2024
Policy Applies To Entire Campus
Additional Authority/References City of Reading (Pennsylvania) Department of Fire and Rescue Services Office of the Fire Marshal

Albright College is a diverse community that has various needs for the use of an open flame. It is not the intent of this policy to totally ban open flame but to restrict its use to well-defined situations.



In order to provide for the safe use of an open flame, the City of Reading Fire Marshal prohibits candles (with or without a wick) and other open flame items in all Albright College buildings with the following exceptions:

  1. Routine religious ceremonies held in Kachel and MPK Chapels.
  2. Participants in special religious ceremonies are allowed to carry hand-held candles when adequate safeguards have been taken with the following guidelines:
    1. Hand-held candles shall not be passed from one person to another while lit.
    2. Open flames shall not be located on or near decorative material or similar combustible materials.
    3. Candles shall be prohibited in areas where occupants stand, in an aisle, or an exit.
  3. Banquets and dinners where candles are used as centerpieces under proper supervision.
  4. Birthday cakes presented in public assembly halls.
  5. “Hot Work” activities (any operation producing flame, sparks or heat including cutting, welding, brazing, grinding, sawing, torch soldering, thawing frozen pipes, applying roof covering etc.). All “Hot Work” shall be performed per the requirements of the Albright College Hot Work Program.
  6. Equipment used in the Science Department which requires an open flame in order to function, ie. Bunsen burners.
  7. Equipment used in the Sculpture Studio which requires an open flame in order to function or process which generate flame or sparks, ie. welding.
  8. Sterno burners used by Dining Services during events where food is prepared and served.
  9. Chimineas are permitted outdoors with the provision that only wood is burned in them. Burning other materials such as paper or plastic is not permitted. Prior approval and a fire safety permit are not required.
  10. Bonfires and fireworks require a fire safety permit from the Fire Marshal in addition to having a fire truck on standby during the event. Contact Environmental Health & Safety for information.
  11. Chinese lanterns (aka sky lanterns, paper lanterns, Kongming lanterns) are prohibited by both the Fire Marshal and the College’s insurance carrier.

Requirements for Obtaining a Special Exception to the Open Flame Requirements:

  1. Submit, no less than 3 weeks before the planned event, a request for a special exception to the Open Flame Policy to the Environmental Health & Safety Officer ( Tel: 610-929-6616).
  2. Explain what additional safety measures will be followed to assure the open flame devices are handled properly.
  3. All requests are to be submitted in writing.

View policy as a PDF.

Past Policy Versions: