Six Cemetery Safety Guidelines

No Need to Fear Zombies

No Need to Fear Zombies

Have you ever walked through a cemetery doing research alone? Or, perhaps you visited a cemetery with friends to imbibe a few drinks far from the public eye. Perhaps the only time you visited a cemetery was during a funeral. No matter your reason for visiting a cemetery, your safety may be a concern.

No, you don’t need to worry about zombies, ghosts or vampires. The safety measures here deal with monuments that may topple, ground that may cave in and ticks that may burrow into your skin – not to mention arrest for violation of a cemetery’s guidelines. The following list covers these issues and more, with links that offer more information:

  • Never go to a cemetery alone. You may fall and injure yourself or encounter wild animals in a remote cemetery. And, the possibility that you can run into a worrisome contact with a stranger is possible, especially in remote areas (or even in crowded urban areas such as New Orleans). Two or more individuals together can decrease the possibility of danger or provide the help needed if a disaster occurs.
  • If you gathered a few ticks in your cemetery outing, the worst thing you can do is try to pull the tick out as the head will separate from its body. Instead, dowse the tick in oil (any kind will do, although some recommend Tea Tree Oil). The tick will begin to suffocate and pull itself out to the point where you can remove it with tweezers.
  • Be aware of any funeral where the burial hole is not supported by timbers. According to a topic presented at a two-day Grave Safe workshop, which was run by the Cemeteries and Crematoria Association of Victoria (CCAV), grave diggers are at risk for land caving in as they dig graves, but funeral participants – especially those who stand close to a grave site – also run the risk of falling into a dug grave (with a casket tumbling on them as well).
  • In the Havant Borough in the UK, at least five fatalities occured between 1982 – 2003, thanks to headstones. Where possible, the Borough Council is  providing temporary support to the memorials, rather than laying them down, until repair work can be carried out.  It is the owners responsibility to undertake repairs so that the memorials are maintained in a safe condition.
  • In line with the previous entry, learn how cemetery workers maintain safe environments. Many times, the hazards lie in tombstones. Workers have been admonished to avoid touching, leaning against or sitting on cemetery headstones because they may appear stronger than they actually are in reality.
  • Learn whether the cemetery uses rules and guidelines (such as no dogs, etc.) and follow those guidelines. Stay off private property unless you’ve contacted the owner first, otherwise you may be in for an unpleasant encounter.

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