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Cremation Process Explained

More and more people are asking about the cremation process when they start thinking about end-of-life planning. Cremation is  more economical than a burial, and that is a top reason it is the choice of a growing number of Americans.

Cremation reduces the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame. After a body has been exposed to the heat and flame, the material left is cremated remains (not ashes as they are sometimes called). Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are white to light grey in color. The remains of an average-size adult generally weigh between four and six pounds.

While 76% of New Hampshire residents now choose cremation instead of a traditional cemetery burial, we still receive a lot of queries about how the cremation process works. This post sheds some light on  the process of cremation.

The Cremation Process at Cremation Society of New Hampshire

Here is an overview of our 10-Step Peace of Mind Cremation Process to offer you a clear understanding of everything that happens:

Pre-Cremation

  • A member of our team escorts the body of the deceased to our cremation facility.
  • A unique ID medallion is assigned to the body and remains with it throughout the process.
  • Our tracking system maintains the unique ID information, and all of your loved one’s personal items are inventoried.
  • A medical examiner conducts an evaluation.
  • All forms and records related to the death and cremation are examined and filed.

During and Post-Cremation

  • Your loved one’s record will be updated with the exact time and date of the cremation.
  • The final step is processing.  After incineration is complete,  there is a 30-minute cool-down period. The cremated remains are then removed from the chamber and placed on a work table, where the crematory operator removes metal debris such as surgical pins, screws, and nails. The bone fragments are placed in a processing container featuring motorized blades that pulverize them into a fine powder. These are commonly referred to as cremated remains.
  • The urn has an identifying number. The  remains and ID medallion are placed in the urn.
  • A Cremation Society of New Hampshire representative meets with you when you pick up the urn. They will sign our two-part cremation certificate, giving one copy to you and retaining a copy for our records.
  • All information that has been collected throughout the cremation process is entered into our database.

Please note  there is a mandatory 48-hour waiting period from the time of death until the cremation process may begin in New Hampshire, and a 24-hour waiting period in Vermont.

Important things to note about the cremation process

  • The Cremation Society of New Hampshire owns and operates our own crematoriums, but other cremation service providers use a third-party business to complete the cremation. This can result in additional fees such as transportation of the body and/or remains. You should ask your funeral home how their cremation process works including a breakdown of costs.
  • Cremation service providers that utilize a third-party crematory also hand off your loved ones to another company. We encourage people to ask about that funeral home’s safety and security protocols so that you can feel 100% confident that the cremated remains you receive are those of your loved one.
  • Embalming the body is not required for cremation, unless there will be a viewing of the body prior to cremation.
  • A casket is also not necessary with a cremation. All that is required by state law is a container holding the body that will  also be cremated.
  • Learn about the different cremation packages available to you.

Download and share the What is Cremation guide here.

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