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Memorial safety inspection

We’ve been carrying out a memorial safety inspection programme at our cemeteries since August 2016. We understand that bereavement and memorials for loved ones are sensitive issues and we do not wish to cause any further upset for families and friends. However, the aim of this programme is to ensure that our cemeteries are safe places for all those who work in and visit them.

We began our inspection in Balmoral Cemetery in August 2016 and moved into Shankill Graveyard and Clifton Street Cemetery which were completed by November 2016. We then started the inspections at Roselawn Cemetery in February 2017.

If you have any concerns or would like to know more about the Memorial Safety Inspection Programme please contact the Memorial Office at Roselawn Cemetery 028 9044 9398, Cemeteries and Crematorium Central Office 028 9027 0296 or email memorialsafety@belfastcity.gov.uk

What does the memorial safety inspection involve?

We have developed this programme based on other memorial safety programmes carried out in many UK cemeteries. If we find a headstone or memorial that is deemed unsafe, we stabilise the memorial using a stake and band to make it safe temporarily. Please do not touch the gravestone or stake or band for your own safety.

Within 10 days of finding an unsafe memorial we write to the registered grave owner (their last known address) to make them aware that the memorial is unsafe and outlining what they need to do. If we do not receive a reply within three months, we will send a reminder letter. If we have still not received a reply after a further three months (six months in total), our cemetery staff will take action as deemed necessary to make the area safe  as outlined in our memorial management policy. 

Unfortunately, because graves and memorials can be purchased decades in advance we may not have the most recent contact details, therefore we are trying to make all residents aware of this policy through the press, social media and our resident’s magazine City Matters. 

Why are we informing owners of memorials?

While we are responsible for overall safety in our cemeteries, including risks from unstable memorials, we don't own the memorials. The owner of a memorial is the Deed Holder (grave owner of exclusive right of burial) or successor in title. This person is responsible for maintaining the memorial so that it does not become a hazard. 

However, in some cases, the current owner may not be identifiable as some records are extremely old and might not have been updated by current relatives or family members. If you would like to update the “Deed Holder” contact details please contact the Memorial Office at Roselawn Cemetery 028 9044 9398, Cemeteries and Crematorium Central Office 028 9027 0296 or email memorialsafety@belfastcity.gov.uk

Memorial management policy

Our memorial management policy outlines the historical problems we have faced in managing memorials and ways of dealing with instable, hazardous and unauthorised memorials. It also contains information about the installation of and standards for new memorials so that they are safe.

Our principles are based on British Standard BS8415 and best practice issued by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management. We have also followed guidance from the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM) Guide and the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) Code and Blue Book.

You can also get a copy by calling into our office on the ground floor of Cecil Ward Building, 4-10 Linenhall Street, Belfast, or phoning us on 028 9027 0296.

Monumental Sculptors    

This list provides monumental sculptors who have signed up to the Belfast Code of Memorial Safe Working Practice Policy. 

For more information, please call the Memorial Office at Roselawn Cemetery 028 9044 9398, Cemeteries and Crematorium Central Office 028 9027 0296 or email memorialsafety@belfastcity.gov.uk

 


Contact us
Bereavement Services Office
028 9027 0296
Ground Floor
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP