Holiday Notices, Decorations in Common Areas

Good Morning,

Many residents have begun to put up holiday decorations; we love seeing the beautiful decorations from all different cultures and traditions. Walking around Verano Place we have noticed some decorations going up in common areas such as walkways, hallways, courtyards, and on grass, trees and bushes in the common areas.

Consistent with our general policy around use of common areas, decorations in these areas are not permitted. Common areas are for the use and enjoyment of the community at large.  These areas may not be used for resident storage, decorations, or planting and should be kept free of debris and personal items. Decorating in these areas can create fire and safety hazards, attract rodents, and interfere with planned grounds and operations work.  If you have placed decorations or other items in a common area (any space or facility other than the interior your apartment and private patio/balcony) please relocate them to your residence.

Below is information on using a shuttle service for winter break travel and holiday decorating and safety tips.

Please contact the Verano Place Housing Office if you have any questions.


UCI Transportation is happy to offer complimentary shuttle service to support your travel plans during the winter break. Service will be provided between the main campus and John Wayne Airport, and between the main campus and the Irvine Transportation Center (Metrolink/Amtrak Station).

The shuttle will depart UCI at set times on Thursday, December 8, and Friday, December 9. Return service will be available at set times on Sunday, January 8, and Monday, January 9. To review schedules and make reservations,


For questions regarding the Holiday Shuttle, please email We look forward to easing your travel stress during the upcoming campus break.



Immediately following Thanksgiving, people start decorating their homes for the holidays. During the holidays, your home is more susceptible to fire than at any other time of the year. For your safety and that of your loved ones, we encourage you to follow the tips listed below when preparing for the holidays.



  • Trees or other decorative materials should not be located in any area where they may block corridors, exit passageways, fire exits, doorways, or ramps.
  • All decorations should be flame retardant. Look for the California State Fire Marshal’s Seal of Approval on packages of decorative materials.
  • If you plan to place any decorations outside on your door or patio, use Command-type removable strips to hang the decoration.  Ensure any lights are rated for outdoor use.
  • Decorating is one way many residents get in the holiday spirit. If you plan use holiday lights, plan to have them removed by January 2, when the academic quarter starts up again.
  • Extension cords can create a fire and trip hazard. If you use extension cords locate one, long enough that you do not need to connect or daisy chain cords together. Additionally, extension cords, if used, should be equipped with LCD’ (Leakage Current Detection and Interruption) for circuit protection. This type of protection is available in Fire Shield brand extension cords and power strips available at most home improvement stores such as Home Depot.
  • Due to fire safety hazards candles or other open flame devices are not permitted inside any on-campus residential buildings.



Holiday trees can be one of the most hazardous items you bring into your home or office. A dry tree can be totally engulfed in fire within three seconds, generating such intense heat that it can ignite the furnishings and wall and window coverings in an entire room in less than one minute. Click here to view a video that illustrates what happens when fire touches a properly maintained, well-watered tree vs. a dry tree According to the U.S. Fire Administration, holiday trees account for 400 fires, resulting in 10 deaths, 80 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage.


A holiday tree purchased from a lot or cut on a tree farm can remain relatively fire-resistant if you follow these simple steps:


  Make a Fresh Cut

  • Fresh cut trees should be treated with flame retardant before being brought to campus. This is a common service that is provided by most tree vendors licensed by the California State Fire Marshal. Many large tree vendors that offer services such as flocking also offer this flame retardant. Check with your vendor before you purchase your tree and be sure to request this additional treatment.
  • Make a fresh cut at the base on a diagonal in order to open up pores clogged by sap. Cut off 2-3 inches. The fresh-cut surface should be creamy white. Otherwise, the tree will not be able to drink water.
  • After the cut is made, put the tree in water immediately to increase absorption. Hot tap water should be used for the first filling.

 Initial Watering

  • Choose a sturdy stand that holds at least one gallon of water.
  • Rinse the tree stand with a mixture of one capful of bleach and one cup of water before inserting the tree. This rinsing reduces the growth of microorganisms that can block the tree’s ability to absorb water.
  • If the tree is not going into the house soon after purchase, it should be stored in a bucket of water in a cool place away from wind and sun.

 Water Daily

  • An average tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day.
  • If the water level drops below the cut end of the trunk, a seal will form and the tree will absorb no more water. So don’t forget to add water every day!

 Mini-Lights Produce Less Heat

  • Holiday tree fires started by short circuit or ground fault account for $4.9 million in damage in the United States every year.
  • Always check lights for frayed or cracked wiring and broken sockets before placing on a tree. Do not attempt to repair a worn light set. Throw it away and buy a new set.
  • Avoid overloading circuits.
  • Turn off tree lights when leaving the house or before going to bed.
  • Miniature lights produce less heat and reduce the drying effect.
  • NEVER use candles to light your tree!

 Keep Away From Heat Sources

  • Place the tree away from heat sources such as heating vents, fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, television sets or sunny windows. Keep rearranged furniture away from heat sources also.
  • Be careful not to block a door with the tree or with rearranged furniture.

 Remove the Tree Promptly

  • After the Holidays, remove the tree from the house before it dries.
  • Please place your tree at the nearest dumpster location.


More information can be found at

Water Safety- Take it seriously

For many parents, nothing can cause more parent anxiety than water safety. Every time about this year, parents gear up for the hours and hours that will be inevitably spent at the pool during the summer months. Please take your water safety seriously! We’ve seen it all: parents of young swimmers sleeping, on their phone, sunbathing or completely turned away from where their kids are swimming. (Nineteen percent of drowning fatalities happen in a pool where a certified lifeguard is on duty.) We all have also been at pools where no life guard was on duty and where, probably, no one would know how to administer CPR. Take a minute to brush up on the facts and skills needed to make sure no accidents happen on your watch.

– The facts:

– A good article to learn what to look for:

– CPR for children:

Coyote Sightings in Verano Place

The Verano Place Housing Office has been alerted that there have been a couple of coyote sightings in Verano Place over the past couple of mornings. The sightings have been around complex 10. Coyotes, raccoons, and other wild animals are a part of the natural habitat around UCI.

As Irvine becomes more urbanized, the human population has infringed on those areas where native wildlife has prospered for generations. Throughout the year Verano Place residents report seeing area wildlife such as coyotes, raccoons, opossums and sometimes bobcats. Coyotes often roam the area looking for rodents and small animals. Coyotes are generally nocturnal and are most often out in the late evenings or early mornings.

Tips for living in a community with Coyotes and other Wild Animals:


  • Make noise; announce your presence when approaching dark, protected areas such as trash bins to avoid startling animals and triggering an aggressive response.
  • Feed pets and domesticated animals inside.
  • Store bags of pet food in animal proof containers and areas.
  • Keep small children under close adult supervision at all times.
  • Talk with children about wildlife seen around Verano Place and ensure they know not to approach them.
  • If you encounter a wild animal – make a lot of noise: clap your hands, yell, bang pots and pans together, make yourself look as big as possible. Never turn your back and run from the animal.


  • Leave any type of food or water out for wildlife.
  • Make friends with wild animals by trying to capture them, give medical assistance, or handle them in any way. This includes trying to pet them.
  • Leave plastic bags out filled with trash or put trash out the night before trash pick-up day.
  • Allow pets or domesticated animals to run loose at any time.

Complaining: Is it ever helpful?

Contributed by: Taisha Lewis, Verano Place Housing Assistant

Have you ever complained? Have you ever heard other people complain? The answers to these questions are most likely yes. I don’t think I know a person who I haven’t heard complain about at least one thing, and I know I do it. Still, do you see a difference between constructive and destructive complaining?

We all have frustrations in life. Certain assignments, deadlines, professors, students. Expectations of ourselves and others. Individual life troubles. Family troubles. Financial stress. The list could literally go on and on. This is life, and life is not always going to be a vacation. How we deal with these frustrations in life is what we do have control over, and can “make or break” a situation.

Complaining can serve positive purposes:

1. Getting the negative feelings about a certain situation out in a positive way with someone you trust
2. Help you to talk through, and think through, a situation, to find solutions and actions that can help the situation
3. Perhaps talking, and thinking through, a situation helps you to realize that you must accept it with a more positive attitude
4. Complaining with an open mind towards others and your situation.

Complaining can also cause more strife than is needed:

1. Expressing feelings in ways where others are being put down and could be hurt by your words.
2. Complaining about the same situation over and over, without any intention of changing your mind frame or the root cause of your frustration.
3. Being negative so often that it drains you and others around you.

The word “complain” is often used with a negative connotation simply because it is done so much and often within a negative framework. While life will always present challenges, complaining about them with a positive attitude, or at least a positive end result in mind, is possible and can be life changing.

First Impressions

Contributed by: Taisha Lewis, Verano Place Housing Assistant

Most of us are taught at a very young age the extreme importance of first impressions. Many of us can remember a time when our parents reminded us of best behavior when meeting a new person. Whether they be within social circles, professional atmospheres, or among anyone that we are meeting for the first time, a higher level of self expectation to be our personal “best” exists. It takes a short time period to “sum up” a person in our minds after meeting them. Here are a few tips to ensure you are making the impression that you desire:

  1. Be Punctual: The first impression you will make on a person will be whether you are on time or not. Always strive to be early. The early bird does get the worm.
  2. Shake Their Hand: Shaking a person’s hand when you meet them is a sign of respect and creates a certain openness amongst people.
  3. Smile: A smile can tell a lot about you. Smiling while speaking, or listening, to others makes the interaction feel more welcoming and comfortable.
  4. Stay Conscious of Your Posture: Good posture is not only beneficial for your health. It also shows confidence and self-esteem.
  5. Keep Your Conversation in Context: While it is definitely important to be yourself, certain conversation topics are better suited for certain situations than others. For example, meeting new friends may call for a discussion of hobbies, while meeting a potential employer would make discussing future goals and skills a more successful topic.

Some say that it takes mere seconds to make a lasting impression on another human being. With that being said, many first impressions can be suppressed in the mind by the positive interactions that follow. If you feel that the first impression you made on another person was not the one you desired, or didn’t truly exhibit who you are, DON’T GIVE UP. Continue communication in an attempt to redeem your character with them or even apologize if you feel it is appropriate. Strive to make people’s first impressions of you memorable, and remember that there’s always a chance to better the impressions you leave; even after the first one.