UK funeral directors are being urged by the Funeral Furnishing Manufacturers Association (FFMA) to ensure the coffins they supply are formally accredited in a bid to protect the public from potentially inferior products.
Alun Tucker, CEO of the FFMA, said the growing range of online and direct sales meant families couldn’t always be certain of coffins meeting the requirements of crematoria.
The FFMA has developed a universally-recognised accreditation scheme, the Test Protocol, which is seen as the industry standard, and ensures coffins are accepted at sites across the UK. Funeral directors who only supply coffins tested by the Association should be sure of avoiding any problems on the day of the funeral.
Tucker said: “In recent years, with the rise of DIY funerals and online sales, there has been an increase in people buying directly from suppliers. Not all of these submit their coffins to us for testing and we, therefore, cannot vouch for their ability to carry a deceased person safely and with dignity.
“We fear that the public is potentially being exposed to inferior products and ask funeral directors to work with us to ensure families aren’t placed in the distressing situation of having a coffin being refused at a crematorium or the product malfunctioning at a funeral.”
The FFMA Test Protocol is built around nine ‘strict’ tests, including strength, charging, ignition, ash residue, leakage and handling.