woman with red roses and coffin at funeral in church

Why Mortuaries are Rarely Located at the Funeral Home Shop Front

woman with red roses and coffin at funeral in church

A mortuary is the place where dead bodies are temporarily stored, while families await the day of the funeral and cremation or burial. Historically, mortuaries were attached to the shop front of the funeral home, and families that are arranging a farewell often expect this to still be the case today.

However, many modern mortuaries are at a completely different location to the funeral home. In this article, Affordable Cremations is looking at some common misconceptions around mortuaries, as well as how funeral providers today take care of the entire process to ensure the day of the goodbye runs as smoothly as possible.

The common misconception about mortuaries

There is a common misconception that all funeral homes have a mortuary “out back” or “down in the cellar” – just like the one we see in the movie My Girl from 1991. However, this is rarely the case anymore. Usually, the shop front of a funeral home must be located in a place that’s convenient and suitable for the local community to visit, but mortuaries don’t require this kind of exposure and can be held in a different location entirely.

Bodies are generally held for up to 7 working days by the funeral provider, and Australian regulations state that they must be stored in a certified holding facility. Although, many families aren’t aware that they can store the body privately if this is their wish; in New South Wales, you’ll need conditional approval from the Director General of NSW Health.

To protect public health, it’s forbidden to store a body unrefrigerated for more than 48 hours. The funeral director you work with will be able to properly and safely store the body of a loved one that has recently passed, in their approved holding facilities.

No matter where they’re based, mortuaries have set Australian standards and regulations to adhere to, including AS ISO 15189 Medical Laboratories – Requirements for quality and competence.

Ensuring the day runs seamlessly

Families don’t need to worry if a mortuary is held at a different location to a funeral home, as service providers such as Affordable Cremations have the experience to make sure your loved one is taken care of. We’ll help you with all of the important decisions, and depending on your location, transfer is usually included in the price.

We have the facilities available to safely and legally store the body at our off-site mortuary, and will transfer it to your chosen crematorium or burial site when the day for the farewell arrives. We’re with you for every step of this confusing journey, ensuring the day runs smoothly for the family and helping you plan down to the smallest detail.

Find out more

To find out more about a direct cremation or other funeral service, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact our team online. We’re here for you 24 hours a day – so give us a call day or night to discuss arrangements for someone close to you.