Charnock Richard Crematorium urges families to avoid leaving “explosive” and “toxic” items in coffins: personal items are allowed and items deemed “dangerous”


Charnock Richard Crematorium.  Photo © David Dixon (cc-by-sa / 2.0)

Charnock Richard Crematorium. Photo © David Dixon (cc-by-sa / 2.0)

The friendly reminder came from Charnock Richard Crematorium after concerns were raised over potentially explosive, toxic and other dangerous memories left inside coffins prior to cremation.

It states that certain items such as alcohol, cell phones, batteries and plastics can produce harmful emissions and even explosions when incinerated, risking harm to personnel and the environment, as well as causing harm to personnel and the environment. damage the machines.

The Crematorium and Memorial Group (CMG), which operates Charnock Richard Crematorium, says staff are unable to verify these items prior to cremation as they are not legally permitted to open a coffin once it is placed in the chapel before the service.

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Charnock Richard Crematorium. Photo © David Dixon (cc-by-sa / 2.0)

He says some of the items that were left inside the coffins before cremation include cell phones, golf clubs and balls, fishing rods, computer games, cigarettes and cigars, alcohol and take-out meals.

The crematorium is now calling on families to ask staff first before placing personal items in the coffins to avoid any potential risk.

CMG Technical Services Director Tony Davidson said: “We understand that mourners may wish to leave items in the casket, but we respectfully request that they speak to us or their funeral director. alternative ways to personalize the funeral.

“The worst case scenario is that these items damage the cremator or injure a colleague, delaying further funerals. Clearly no one would want that to happen.”

Brendan Day, secretary of the Federation of Burial & Cremation Authority, added: “For many years we have provided advice to funeral directors on what items should not be placed in coffins with the deceased.

“We recognize the importance of personalizing a burial, however, to protect the environment and crematorium personnel, it is necessary to exclude items that have the potential to produce harmful emissions and even explosions.”

Placing personal items with our deceased loved ones is a custom that dates back thousands of years and exists in many cultures, providing much-needed comfort and solace to those who are grieving.

We know from historians that the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Vikings and Anglo-Saxons all did this and we continue to follow this practice today.

But what items should we avoid placing in coffins before cremation?

Items that should not be left inside coffins

– Combustible objects such as alcohol, cell phones or battery powered devices can all cause an explosion if incinerated.

– Hard objects such as golf balls or bowling balls can be thrown during the cremation process, causing extensive damage to the equipment.

– Plastics used to make items such as fishing rods and sporting goods can emit toxic fumes when set on fire.

– Clothing, accessories and shoes made from materials such as treated leather, latex and vinyl cannot be incinerated, as they can release harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

– Families are generally advised not to leave items of sentimental or financial value in the coffin and to remind their funeral director to remove any items prior to cremation.

Items that can be safely left inside coffins

– Personal keepsakes such as wooden rosaries, unframed photographs, religious texts or handwritten tributes on paper or card can all be safely left inside the coffin.

– Jewels and medals can also be cremated but cannot be recovered afterwards.

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