Window and Room Decorations

1. What are the regulations for decorating the walls of the rooms?

Radford University values the safety of all our residents.  Therefore, we adhere to the International Fire Safety codes, as interpreted by the State Fire Marshal.  This code states that not more than 10 percent of the walls in student rooms may be covered by combustible and/or flammable items.  In most cases, this allows 12 square feet to be covered on each of the long, side walls of the room and eight square feet on the wall with a window; six square feet can be covered on the walls opposing the window wall.  We encourage you to choose your decorations carefully.  Shelving units can be a good method for displaying pictures and other mementos in your room.

2. What are the regulations for decorating the ceilings of the rooms?

According to International Fire Safety codes, nothing can be suspended from or attached to the ceilings, light fixtures, and any fire safety equipment.  Therefore, items including glow-in-the-dark stars cannot be placed on the ceiling.

3. What are some ideas for displaying pictures and other items in the room?

While the 10 percent wall coverage rule presents some initial difficulties, there are some clever ways to still display your favorite items.  For example, shelving units can be a fairly inexpensive way to display many frames and knickknacks.  Folding screens or picture collages can be another way to show pictures in a condensed manner.

4. What is the best way to hang decorations in the rooms?

Students should be thoughtful when hanging items on the wall.  For example, duct tape is always a bad choice because it damages the walls.  Adhesive wall putty discolors walls, and double sided foam tape does not remove neatly or easily.  Many students recommend using the 3M Command Adhesive products as a way to hang items on the wall; it is still important to use this gingerly to prevent damage. Nails and tacks cannot be placed in the walls because of the damage they cause.  Please note that all residents are responsible for the condition of their room and will be held financially accountable for the damages they cause; suitemates will be held responsible for damages found in common areas.

5. What kinds of curtains are permitted on the windows?

Working to provide you with a safer living environment, Radford University follows the International Fire Safety codes adopted by the Virginia Commonwealth in 2009.   According to these codes, only curtains permitted in the rooms are those that are flame retardant, as shown on the manufacturer’s label on the curtains.  Please see the next item to learn about valances as another option for the window.

6. What is a window valance?

A window valance is a decorative piece of fabric (not more than 8 inches in height) that hangs at the top of the window and is designed to hide the mechanical workings of the horizontal blinds.  Valances do not need to be flame retardant as long as their length is no more than 8 inches.  Given the construction of our windows, we suggest that you use a tension rod to hang the valance. 

7. Are holiday lights permitted?

Holiday and rope lights are permitted in the residence halls and are popular with many students.  Remaining consistent with the lights manufacturer’s UL listing, up to two strands can be linked together and plugged into the wall.

8. Can I hang a beaded curtain in the doorway?

Beaded curtains are permitted in the residence halls, but cannot be placed on the doors leading to the main hallway corridor.  For your safety, the beaded curtain and similar items need to be hung in such a manner that they do not prevent occupants from seeing the main door.  For example, if you hung a beaded curtain in the area where the room connects to the main hallway corridor, room occupants would need to be able to clearly see the corridor door.  Please remember that items cannot be attached to any ceilings.