FAQs About Cremation
15 Frequently Asked Questions About Cremation
1) WHAT IS CREMATION?
Very simply stated, cremation is the process of using very high heat for final disposition of a deceased body. The practice dates back thousands of years. It is a common practice accepted by many religions across the globe. The body is placed in a chamber that heats up to around 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (over 800 degrees Celsius). During the process, the body converts into smoke, cremated remains and steam (given the body contains a large amount of water).
Once the cremation ‘drawer’ comes out of the cremation chamber, all the cremated remains are gathered. A strong magnet is used to collect any metallic remnants.
Finally, any large remaining bone fragments are pulverized into a fine powder before being placed into the temporary urn.
2) HOW LONG DOES CREMATION TAKE?
A single cremation typically takes between two-and-a-half to three hours in duration. This includes the time to get the chamber up to temperature and bring it back down to temperature so the cremation chamber can be opened at the end of the process.
3) CAN MORE THAN ONE BODY BE CREMATED AT THE SAME TIME?
No. You cannot cremate more than one body at the same time. Not only is this practice illegal, at Cremation Specialists, we consider it unethical. We want to ensure you receive the cremated remains, and only the cremation remains, of your loved one.
4) CAN PERSONAL ITEMS BE PLACED IN THE CREMATION CHAMBER WITH THE BODY?
Yes. However, no objects can be placed in the cremation chamber that contain large metallic items, rubber items or glass items. Rubber is prohibited because it is harmful and potentially toxic, not only to the atmosphere, but also to the crematory operator. Glass is prohibited because it interferes with the collection of cremated remains. The cremation chamber heats up enough to melt (liquify) glass and cremated remains would be enveloped in the cooled glass after the process is complete.
If your wishes into putting something in the cremation chamber with your loved one, it is best to check with the location regarding what is and is not allowed.
5) HOW IS MY LOVED ONE DRESSED WHEN CREMATED?
Your loved one is covered in a gown made from natural, non-toxic fibers. At very high temperatures, this gown disintegrates completely.
6) WHAT ABOUT METALLIC OBJECTS IN THE BODY?
7) WHAT IF THE DECEASED HAS A PACEMAKER?
We will need to remove the pacemaker prior to cremation. Why? When exposed to very high heat, certain parts of the pacemaker could explode and damage not only the cremation chamber, but also injure the personnel working.
8) WHAT CAN I DO WITH THE CREMATED REMAINS?
The most common thing that people do with cremated remains is place them in an urn. For a more personal touch, a small portion of the cremated remains can also be separated from the bulk remains and placed in a small keepsake urn, or a placed in pendant jewelry that can be worn around the neck. Cremated remains, carbon, can also be converted into diamonds. Not cheap, but possible.
9) CAN I SCATTER CREMATED REMAINS?
Some wish to scatter remains. In this case, it is always best to check your state and local regulations. There are “do’s” and “don’ts” regarding the scattering of cremated remains and these vary from state to state. There are regulations regarding scattering remains in public parks, scattering from airplanes, scattering in waterways, etc.
Finally, be sure to check and see if your religion has any views on this topic. For instance, the Catholic church discourages the scattering of remains. (internal link to Catholicism an Cremation)
10) WHAT LAWS ARE THERE REGARDING CREMATION?
These vary from state to state. So, it is important to work with an established, experienced and professional crematory because they will know and work within the proper state guidelines. Some states mandate that you cannot cremate a body within 48 hours of death. But again, this varies from state to state.
11) HOW CAN I ENSURE I GET THE RIGHT CREMATED REMAINS?
At Cremation Specialists, we use a digital identification system. Every decedent that comes into our care receives an identification bracelet that stays with them through the entire cremation process. From the time the decedent comes into our care until the time they leave the cremation chamber, this ID bracelet has an identification number on it so the deceased can be tracked through the entire procedure. We ensure your love is returned back to you.
12) IS A CASKET REQUIRED FOR CREMATION?
The simple answer is no. There are not any laws in the U.S. that mandate using a casket for cremation. This decision really comes down to the individual family or family member(s). While you are not required to use a casket, we must inform you that we do provide caskets should you wish your loved one to be buried in a casket.
These caskets are very simple and the most common materials used to make these are wood that has been pressed, unfinished wood (so no lacquers get into the atmosphere), fiberboard and even cardboard. We have some options available in our online checkout for you to choose from.
13) WHY DO PEOPLE CHOOSE TO BE CREMATED IN A CASKET, OR NOT?
Almost universally, it comes down to dignity. Instead of putting an exposed, naked body in the cremation chamber, some families feel it preserves a part of the deceased person’s dignity to be covered, like clothing.
For those opting for no casket, there are a couple of main reasons.
- I want only the cremated remains of my loved one and nothing else. I do not want grandma’s ashes, or whomever, mixed with other physical elements.
- From an environmental standpoint, I don’t want to cremate any excess materials that will be released into the atmosphere.
14) IS AN URN REQURED AFTER CREMATION?
While we do have urns available, you are not required to purchase an urn to receive your cremated remains. We do, however, have several options for affordable urns available during our checkout process.
15) HOW WILL I RECEIVE THE CREMATED REMAINS IF I DO NOT CHOOSE AN URN?
We will provide the cremated remains inside a plastic bag. This bag is then placed inside a temporary urn.