Unsafe Memorials Are Owners Responsibility

Unsafe memorials can cause serious injury or even death if they topple over. Many wrongly assume that in such incidences the local authority is responsible, but in reality it is actually the grave owner who has to accept liability.

Unsafe memorials

Two months ago Liverpool city council responded to a complaint about headstones lying flat in West Derby cemetery after it was featured in the Liverpool Echo newspaper. The council explained how in many cases it was impossible to trace the grave owners who were responsible, and that they had been laud flat in line with national safety guidelines.

Over the years legislation regarding unsafe memorials has changed but it is not applied retrospectively. This simply means cemeteries test and push over any unsafe ones, writing to the grave owners if they can be identified.

The current guidelines are that headstones should be able to withstand a force of 70kg, so if your memorial wobble when pushed, it is almost certainly unsafe. This standard was introduced in 2012 and has already been updated a number of times this millennium.  If your memorial is twenty years or older and leans or wobbles when pushed, then more than likely it will not meet current specifications.

Most local authorities nowadays will only allow masons who are members of BRAMM, the British Association of Memorial Masons, to work in their cemeteries. BRAMM members are committed to applying the BS8415 Standard, specifying minimum anchor lengths to ensure safety.

As a BRAMM member, Sarsfield Memorials are able to re-fix unsafe memorials to the current specifications. This involves anchoring into a reinforced concrete foundation, giving you a secure memorial and total peace of mind. We can also clean your memorial for little extra charge. If you are worried about the safety of your memorial, please contact us and we will be happy to  check it for you and provide a free no obligation quote for re-fixing it.