The CIA's declassified holiday safety tips

The CIA’s declassified holiday safety tips

Flammable trees and boozy office parties topped Agency’s concerns

Written by
Edited by Beryl Lipton

As we’ve written about before, working at the Central Intelligence Agency can be hazardous, even if you never left Langley. With classified office accidents fairly commonplace, it’s not surprising that the CIA made holiday safety a priority, as evidenced by memos dating back to the Agency’s founding.

The main concern in 1947 was Christmas trees as potential fire hazards:

Nearly 30 years later in 1975, a similar bulletin echoed those concerns …

but branched out into Consumer Product Safety Commission territory …

and driving under the influence.

On the latter point, it’s worth noting that the Agency employees’ enthusiasm for “cheer” was such that there were several unsuccessful attempts to ban alcohol entirely from holiday parties. By 1984, attempts at enforcing mandatory sober shindigs had largely been abandoned. But as a concession, a list of “Suggested Tips for Responsible Hosts and Hostesses” was now distributed to all department heads prior to their respective ragers.

Nowadays, things are apparently a lot more tame. As reported by Lawfare, the CIA’s 2017 holiday party was apparently just Mike Pompeo handing out his mother’s fudge recipe

the latest in a long line of declassified desserts.

The full list of tips from 1975 is embedded below. All of us at MuckRock wish you a very safe and happy holiday season.

Image via US National Archives Flickr (With a very special thanks to @USNatlArchives!