Had a search phrase recently go to this site “do funeral homes smell of decomposition?”
I was concerned about that also when I first started in the mortuary transport business. When you don’t know what to expect, you try to expect the worst.
There’s a good reason why funeral homes DON’T smell of decomposition though. By law,they’re not allowed to have a body around long enough to decompose without embalming, burying or cremating the remains. Most funeral homes are sensitive to making sure their facility doesn’t smell bad, and there are all kinds of cleaning solutions be guarantee no infectious disease, smell or other hazardous materials.
There have been some exceptions, like when a grieving family won’t make a decision about disposition, but refrigeration usually mitigates any decomp in that case.
I think I mentioned once about a young lady whose mother died in a care facility that fortunately had refrigeration, but she went for over a week before calling a funeral home. It was a good thing she had a relative that worked for me part time who knew we could take care of everything through one of our funeral homes we transported for, and her mother was cremated fairly soon thereafter. Last I heard, the cremains were still in the closet of the relative that worked for me, as she never could deal with the loss of her mother.
The funeral home industry is more like a cross between church and a business office, with some funeral homes leaning more one direction than the other. While there are mysteries perceived about both types of entities, the bottom line is you’re working with people. If you like the people you’re working with, it doesn’t matter if there’s organ music in the background or if theres the clack and clang of photocopiers and fax machines.