At Burstows, everything we do we do to honour life. This is also
reflected in the care and respect taken when we deal with a loved
one throughout the cremation process.
- abide by Government regulations, including those of the State
Government Health Department
- follow our own strict policies, procedures and code of
- ensure the name plate remains alongside the deceased throughout
the cremation process
- ensure cremated remains of an individual are kept together and
not mixed with other cremated remains.
- In all cases, only one deceased is cremated at a time (unless
there are extenuating circumstances and then only with the approval
and knowledge of the family and in accordance with Health
- Burstows embrace transparency and provide a viewing lounge
adjacent to the cremation chamber for family members or a family
representative desiring to witness the insertion of the coffin into
the cremation chamber.
Understanding the Cremation Process
Following the funeral service, the coffin is moved to the
crematorium, located on the grounds of the TS Burstow Funeral
Once accepted by crematorium staff the coffin remains sealed
throughout the cremation process.
Verification of deceased
Staff verify the identity of the deceased via the name plate on
the coffin, ensuring the details match the 'Application for
Cremation' (the document required by Health Department Regulations
before a cremation can take place) and the two Medical Certificates
or Coroner's Cremation Permit received from the funeral director.
In addition to confirmation of death the medical certificate
indicates if battery powered devices (such as a pace-maker) have
Flowers may remain with the coffin or can be returned to the
family. Your Funeral Director will ensure your instructions
discussed during the arrangement regarding your preference for
flowers is honoured.
When will the cremation occur?
The cremation will generally be carried out on the same day as
the funeral service but, in accordance with Health Department
Regulations, can occur up to 48 hours later. If the cremation is
not to occur immediately, the coffin is held in a temperature
controlled holding room.
Preparation for cremation
When cremation is due to occur:
- The coffin is transferred onto an insertion trolley
- The name plate is removed, and placed alongside the cremator,
for identification throughout the process
- The coffin is inserted into the cremator.
- In all cases, the coffin and deceased are cremated together.
Cremation begins immediately once the coffin is inserted into the
The cremation process
Cremators generally comprise of a main cremating chamber, a
secondary air chamber and a holding chamber.
In accordance with Health Department Regulations, coffins must
be cremated individually, in other words, only one coffin is ever
placed inside the main cremation chamber at any one time. Likewise,
there may only be one body per coffin except in special
circumstances which require permission from the Director General of
Health and would be a circumstance instigated at the request of the
At the completion of the main phase of the cremation process,
the cremated remains are moved into the holding chamber to finalise
the cremation. Once finalised, the cremated remains are placed into
a cooling container. When cooled, metallic contents (prostheses,
coffin nails etc) are separated from the remains and disposed of in
an appropriate manner.
Cremated remains or ashes
Commonly cremated remains are referred to as 'ashes'. However,
technically there are no ashes, what are left are the fragile
calcified bone fragments.
The cremated remains are transferred to a processor to reduce
the bone fragments to a fine granule type consistency which in turn
is placed in a sealed container. The name plate and an identifying
label are attached.
The container accommodates all of the cremated remains. In the
unusual event that an ash container is insufficient to hold all of
the ashes, an extra container is used.
Ash containers are held until instructions are received from the
family or applicant. The ashes are then, subject to Health
Department Regulations, dealt with according to the instruction
- Over 130 000 people die in Australia each year.
- 56% of people currently opt for cremation with the number
slowly increasing. In urban area where crematoria are more readily
available the rate approaches 70%.
- Cremation is usually not acceptable within Orthodox Judaism,
Islam and Eastern Orthodoxy. However, most Christian denominations
approve cremation, and it is the preferred method among Hindus and
- The Roman Catholic Church no longer considers there to be a
danger that Christian cremation will be associated with
non-Christian belief, with a preference for cremation when chosen
for sanitary, economic or social reasons. The Catholic Church
recommends cremated remains are disposed of in a way that indicates
respect for the body of the deceased person. A memorial in a
public, sacred place, such as a church or cemetery, is favoured so
that even in death the deceased person's commitment to Christianity
- Once the crematorium has accepted the coffin it may not be
- One person is only ever cremated at a time. The only exception
is in the case of a mother and baby or twin children. It may also
be acceptable for both a mother and baby or twin children to be in
the same coffin. In these instances, approval is sought from the
- A cremator is made from refractory (heat resistant) bricks and
fuelled by natural gas.
- All coffin handles are cremated unless they hinder the
- The time taken to cremate will depend on many factors including
body mass, bone density and the materials from which the coffin is
manufactured. The average time for an adult cremation is 90 minutes
at a temperature of between 800 and 1000 degrees Celsius.
- On average from insertion to final cooling the cremation
process may take up to four hours.