By Melissa Petruzzi.
In our last article, we discussed having a plan in place for removing holiday decorations and the importance of restricting items that pose safety concerns or other risks. The best way to notify the public of these types of rules in your cemetery is to have a set of official rules and regulations, but surprisingly, there are many cemeteries that do not have these regulations well defined. If this describes your cemetery, don’t worry, we can help point you in the right direction!
A good place to start is simply by looking up other cemeteries and seeing what rules they have and how those could apply to your cemetery as well. It’s a good idea to keep your regulations succinct, so as not to bombard the reader with information. Think of a few of the guidelines that mean the most to your cemetery. Is it decoration policies, prohibited items, memorial regulations? There are many things that can be included, depending on what your cemetery values and the services offered.
To help you get started writing your rules and regulations, here are a few things you may want to include:
- Cemetery office and grounds hours
- Holiday hours and policies
- Rules for decorations
- Memorial Regulations
- Policies on littering, loitering, and soliciting
- Procedures in case of vandalism
- Safety guidelines
- Perpetual care information
- Rules regarding plants and animals
- General rules for respecting the deceased
There are many other things that can be included in your rules and regulations, these are just a few ideas to help get you started.
Another common problem with cemetery rules and regulations is that some cemeteries have them written down, but they don’t have them readily available to the public. It’s important to post your rules and regulations somewhere prominent so the public can easily view them. Some cemeteries post rules somewhere throughout the grounds or in the cemetery’s office. Another popular option is to list your rules on your website. This simple action can provide a lot of clarity and ease the stress of guests coming to visit loved ones, particularly if they are not familiar with the cemetery.
Maybe you already have rules and regulations and you have them posted somewhere accessible, but when was the last time you updated those rules? It’s a good idea to make sure nothing is out of date or no longer relevant so you don’t confuse your guests. It’s easy to get distracted and let this task fall by the wayside, but once it is completed you won’t have to address it again for years to come.
Regardless of where you are in the process of creating and displaying your rules and regulations, it’s important to remember how crucial having these rules in place can be to your cemetery. Defining these simple policies can help shape your cemetery and play a vital role in protecting its integrity.