Natural burial ground microchip software company ASSETtrac is celebrating 20 years since it entered the funeral trade with its grave marking technology and equipment.
ASSETtrac has been supplying its innovative method of marking individual plots with a hidden identification device since 1998, when it was contacted by the Natural Burial Company in Leicestershire.
Marketed under the brand name Epitrace, the system is in place at over 100 burial grounds, over half in the public sector, as well as two in Australia. The system is seen as an “insurance policy” against the publicity and potential compensation that may arise in the event of disturbing the wrong grave.
Public interest in sustainable or nature reserve burial grounds that combine an environmentally friendly coffin and a grave in natural open parkland or woodland setting has been growing for some time.
There are now more than 300 across the country and most owners prevent the use of any memorials, except sometimes a flat plaque. The service therefore demands a long term solution to the exact location of remains, without the expense of satellite positioning or a surface ID tag exposed to interference by machinery, vandalism or the weather.
Using a device the same size as a grain of rice, tags are implanted in domestic pets for identification purposes. For humans, the chip is held inside a non-degradable peg with a spade resistant cap and buried underground near the grave, not near the coffin.
The device remains passive indefinitely requiring no battery or maintenance, and is activated when within range of a small scanner capable of reading the its unique code number through the ground.
Each number can be linked to manual or computer records of the deceased and other family details.
The device facilitates visits, adjacent burial of relatives, and reduces the possibility of a mistaken exhumation. Pegs are also placed under plaques marking cremated remains plot.