Display Safety


Download the Science Safety Handbook for CA Public Schools (2014 edition)

1.  Fire regulations prohibit use of highly flammable materials or decorations in project displays. Background panels must be of Masonite, pegboard, hardboard, PVC piping, wood or foam core board, to which poster paper, cardboard or fabric may be attached.

2.  No dangerous or combustible solids, liquids or gases may be exhibited. Cylinders, tanks and/or other containers that have held such substances, unless thoroughly cleaned and/or purged with carbon dioxide, are also prohibited. Rockets MUST NOT contain fuel.

3.  No flames, open or concealed, are permitted in the display building.

4.  No syringes, pipettes or similar devices may be displayed.

5.  Devices producing temperatures in excess of 100 C must be adequately insulated.

6.  The following electrical safety rules must be observed:

  • Devices (vacuum tubes, lasers, etc.) which generate dangerous rays must be properly shielded.
  • Wiring must be properly insulated and fastened.energy hog-electrical
  • Wiring, switches and metal parts of high voltage circuits must be located out of reach of observers and must include an overload safety device.
  • High voltage equipment must be shielded with a grounded metal box or cage to prevent accidental contact.
  • Approved connecting cords of the proper load-carrying capacity must be used for 110-volt operation of lights, motors, transformers and other equipment.
  • Standard switches must be used for 120-volt circuits. Open knife switches or bell-ringing push buttons are not acceptable for circuits exceeding 12 volts.
  • Batteries with open top cells (wet cell batteries) are not permitted.
  • Electrical connections in 120-volt circuits must be soldered or fixed under approved connectors and have connecting wires properly insulated.
  • Electrical circuits for 120-volt AC must have an Underwriters Laboratory approved cord (or proper load carrying capacity) at least 2 meters long and equipped with a standard grounded plug.

laser-web7.  Only Class I and Class II lasers may be operated at the Fair. Bring in for judging only! These lasers must (1) have a protective housing or barricade preventing human access to the beam during operation, (2) be disconnected from the power source when not in operation, (3) be operated only in the presence of the exhibitor, and (4) when displayed, be accompanied by the following sign: LASER RADIATION; DO NOT STARE INTO BEAM.

live plant-web8. No live or preserved plants, vertebrate or invertebrate animals or parts (including embryos, microbial cultures or fungi, (whether known to be disease causing or not) may be exhibited at the Fair. Sealed insect collections will be permitted on display.

9. Human parts, other than teeth, hair, nails, histological sections and liquid tissue slides may NOT be exhibited.

people blacked out10. Photographs or other visual presentations depicting humans or vertebrate animals in other than normal conditions may not be displayed on the student’s exhibit. Hide a participant’s face to protect their identity.

11. The use of Controlled Substances (drugs, chemicals, anesthetics, etc.), are regulated by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 and must conform to existing local, state and federal laws. Such substances may not be exhibited at the Fair.


The Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair Committee, its Board of Directors, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Board of Supervisors for Los Angeles County, volunteers and representatives of sponsoring organizations for the Annual Los Angeles County Science & Engineering Fair, shall be held harmless for injury or death of persons or damage and/or loss of property occurring in connection with the Los Angeles County Science & Engineering Fair.