Cremation Facts

Cremation is a process of subjecting the body to intense heat and flame, approximately 1600 to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, until it has been almost totally consumed.

Unless they have been embalmed, a decedent’s remains are kept refrigerated until cremation. Common sense, dignity and health concerns require that the remains be placed in an opaque, rigid container. This can range from a specially designed corrugated cardboard box to a wooden casket, depending on preference. Since the container is consumed in the cremation process, it cannot be made of non-flammable substances or materials which give off toxic fumes on burning.

The remains, in their container, are placed in the cremation chamber and subjected to intense gas flame. It usually takes 45-60 minutes for the remains to be consumed, and for safety reasons the chamber is cooled for several hours before opening.

At the end of the process the remains are swept from the chamber. While sweeping is done with great care, small quantities of the remains may be left behind in the chamber and small quantities from previous cremations may be mingled with the current remains. Any remaining metal parts of the cremation container, metal medical prostheses or other foreign objects are removed. This leaves about 6 to 8 pounds of bone fragments, which are mechanically reduced to a volume of about 200 cubic inches and the texture of coarse beach sand.

Following mechanical processing the cremated remains are either placed directly into the chosen memorial urn or are temporarily stored in a non-permanent container awaiting disposition. The deceased person then may be memorialized in a columbarium, in a cemetery or in any other way the family has chosen.