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Art Gallery Fire, Health, and Safety Guidelines

These guidelines apply specifically to exhibits in the Hampshire College art gallery located in the Harold F. Johnson Library. They should also be used when planning exhibits elsewhere on campus.

  • Structures that would capture smoke, delaying it from reaching smoke detectors, are not allowed (no rooms within a room).
  • Fabric curtains must be flame retardant and, when used to divide the space, have an open exit path.
  • Natural greenery or any significant quantity of combustible material must be treated with flame retardant.
  • Candles or other open flames are prohibited. Use of electric appliances must be approved by environmental health and safety (EH&S) in advance.
  • Use heavy gauge extension cords and power strips, and do not overload electrical circuits.
  • Keep lights away from fabric or other combustible materials.
  • No halogen lamps are allowed.
  • No live animals are allowed. Use of animal skins or other animal body parts must be approved by EH&S in advance.
  • No items that could contain or attract vermin (e.g., food, rubbish) are allowed.
  • Use of any hazardous materials or chemicals must be approved by EH&S in advance.
  • Avoid tripping hazards on the floor (includes extension cords).
  • Minimize sharp edges. Where they cannot be avoided, position them away from pathways.
  • If part of the exhibit needs a dark space, there must be a clear and obvious exit to a lit space.
  • The large windows at the top cannot be covered. (The small windows in the back can be covered).
  • All constructed items must be stable and not pose a tipping or collapse hazard. Facilities and grounds must review and approve plans for any piece greater than 4' in height or width.
  • Any electrical circuits, beyond plug-in equipment and existing lighting structures, must be approved in advance by a facilities and grounds electrician.
  • Egress routes must be maintained from all areas of the gallery and nothing can interfere with fire safety equipment.
  • If materials being used require special disposal (e.g., televisions, other electronics), a plan for disposal must be approved by EH&S in advance.

Sketches and/or detailed descriptions illustrating the special design elements noted above that require administrative review and approval must be submitted to the designated director a minimum of 10 business days before the desired display period.

The director of environmental health and safety or the director of facilities and grounds can require that any items that pose a fire, safety, or structural hazard be taken down. If you have questions, please ask early in your design process.

EH&S 12/2009

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