Revised memorial standard BS 8415 finally published
The revised version of the British Standard specification for monuments within burial grounds and memorial sites, BS 8415, has finally been published after two years of deliberations.
The sticking points were Annex B, assessing the risk of memorials, and Annex F, testing ground anchors. Annex F now includes a methodology for testing fixing systems.
The Ministry of Justice, which, in 2009, told burial authorities to stop laying memorials down and staking them unless they really were a danger, wanted any specific mention of a force a memorial must withstand to be removed from the standard. It considered the reaction by burial authorities was excessive and disproportionate to the risk.
The BSI committee has not removed any mention of a force, but has reduced it from 35kg to 25kg, which is the same force as domestic parapets and ballustrades are required to resist.
Throughout the BSI committee’s deliberations on
BS 8415, Anton Matthews of the Memorial Stone Centre in Bognor Regis and manufacturer of the StoneSafe memorial fixing system, has maintained concerns about the safety of memorial fixings, but says the industry “is beginning at long last to wake up”. He says: “What it’s about at the end of the day is the bereaved. They should have memorials that are not going to fall down.”
The National Association of Memorial Masons, whose Code of Practice formed the basis of the original standard, still gets a mention in the new standard in a note that says “a comprehensive, but not exclusive, list of fixing systems that have met the requirements of this annex is available on the NAMM website”.
NAMM says its Code of Practice remains relevant to its members and working to it will enable them to comply with the revised standard.
Copies of BS 8415 can be bought from BSI for £136 at http://shop.bsigroup.com.