Solid Alcohol (Sterno)

Policy on the Use of Solid Alcohol (Sterno) For Heating Food on Campus

Solid Alcohol (Sterno)Solid alcohol (Sterno) heating of food is permitted provided that the following pre-cautions are taken to prevent ignition of combustible material and ensures the safety of occupants.

(Sterno) use is only permitted in spaces designated as areas of Public Assembly:

  • A-Atrium
  • Art Gallery
  • B-115
  • C-Cafeteria
  • C Lobby
  • C-390
  • C-391
  • Faculty Dining Room – C Building
  • Faculty Lounge – Room B-503
  • Green Room
  • JFK Room – C Building
  • Multipurpose Room
  • It is not permitted in private office spaces, theaters, classrooms, or other non-public space.

New York City Fire Code does not permit the use of Solid alcohol (Sterno) or any other sort of open flame in areas not designated as an official Public Assembly Space.

Authorized campus catering service and / or external licensed food vendors shall be allowed to utilize (Sterno) heating devices, providing they comply with the Solid Alcohol (Sterno) use policy of the college.

Authorized campus catering service providers and / or external licensed food vendors shall be provided a copy of this policy and upon request shall provide written certification that their employees are properly trained in the lighting and handling of (Sterno) as well as the knowledge of how to operate a fire extinguisher.

(Sterno) use shall be attended at all times by a member of the catering staff who has been trained in (Sterno) use and fire safety.  If the event is not catered (covered by catering service food handlers) the campus organizer must contact public safety to ensure that public safety is aware of (Sterno) being used.

A 10 pound ABC dry chemical extinguisher, or Type K extinguisher, shall be available within ten (10) feet of the serving table or tables. Use of secondary containers for (Sterno), i.e. fuel holders with cover, is mandatory. Proper tools must be available for the smothering of the flame if needed, i.e. snuffer paddle.

All chafing racks and beverage urns using (Sterno) shall be placed on non-combustible mats, ceramic or metal trays extending at least eight inches beyond the (Sterno) container in each direction, to prevent accidental contact with any combustible materials.

(Sterno) shall be placed under food or beverage tray before lighting. (Sterno) shall only be lit by means of a butane lighter or long handled match. Chafing racks or beverage urns shall not be moved while (Sterno) are lit.

Only regular cloth table covers shall be used, paper or plastic table coverings are not permitted with the use of (Sterno). Table decorations must be flame resistant. Combustible material such as plates, napkins, plastic utensils, cups and similar products shall be separated by a minimum of three feet from (Sterno).

(Sterno) must be immediately extinguished when the food tray is empty or no longer used. When the event is over, all (Sterno) must be extinguished, immediately capped and removed from facility.

Public Safety Office and the Space Reservation Office must be notified of all (Sterno) usage.

In the event of a fire, Public Safety must be immediately notified by calling 718-518-6888 – or from a campus phone 6888.

Use of Sterno Policy 10-2516