Returning Back to Ashes: How Do They Cremate Bodies?


Cremation is a process which includes disposing off a deceased person. All across the world, people cremate bodies and its considered a very common practice having been practiced for thousands of years now.

In the United States, the cremation rate is increasing steadily with time. In 2015, the Cremation Association of North America reported the national average rate of cremation to be 44.4%. Furthermore, keeping in mind the same increasing speed this rate is forecasted to be 55.6% by the end of 2025.

However, most people still seem to be confused about exactly how do they cremate bodies. what happens with a body and its ashes? Since the beginning of time to now, the way people cremate bodies has changed. Modern technologies have given us a more standardized process of cremation.

Here are few steps that will give you a basic idea about how do they cremate bodies. Preparing the body Before a dead body is cremated, the local funeral director has to obtain the cremation authorization first. This approval is taken from the deceased person’s closest surviving family member. This consent is usually granted in the form of a written document, which is provided for by the funeral home. After the signatures are taken, the next step is to make sure any valuable item such as jewelry on the body is removed, especially those that aren’t supposed to be cremated. All kinds of medical devices are also removed so as to prevent explosions during the cremation process.

When the public viewing of the body is done after the funeral, the body is placed in a casket, which is usually made up of wood. This container is more often a large cardboard box, which has a plywood bottom to maintain sturdiness. These containers make the burning of the body relatively easy during the cremation.

Next step, the cremation operator or funeral director places an identification tag on the container. This helps them identify the body easily after it returns to the funeral home. This step is taken with great caution, since no one wants to end up with the wrong set of ashes.

The Cremation Process The casket which contains the body is next placed inside the cremation chamber. This chamber is sometimes call the retort. Its lined properly with fire and heat resistant bricks on walls and ceiling. The floor of this chamber is made especially from material that can withstand high temperatures. Once the body is taken inside, the chamber door, which is usually more than half foot thick, gets closed manually or using an automatic switch.

The cremation operator starts the machine that performs a warming up cycle before the actual burning cycle begins. After warming up, the machine’s main burner gets ignited and the incinerating process of the body is initiated. Temperatures inside this chamber often hit 1800°F – 2000°F. The burner is fueled by natural gas or propane normally. Generally, it takes around 1 to 2 hours for a body to reduce completely to bone fragments.

However, some furnaces, likely the older ones, often require some more time. Processing the ashes After the cremation process is complete, a cool down time of 30 minutes is allotted before the bone fragments are further processed. When this is done, the remains are then placed in a separate container, which is cylindrical in shape with machine blades in its bottom. This processor further refined the fragments into a fine powder called cremains. This cremains are what we call ashes. The last phase is simple. These ashes are packed in a plastic bag and delivered to the family. This is how they cremate bodies. If you like this article, please share and share your comments in the section below.

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Returning Back to Ashes: How Do They Cremate Bodies?

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