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Crematorium Technician here

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:11:53

I see lots of threads about cremations and Crematoria. I'm currently a crem tech so please ask me questions and I will endeavor to answer them.

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:35:16

@Pebbles789 the coffin burns away to nothing and we are absolutely not allowed to open coffins once they have been committed (pass through the curtain) they can be opened in chapel for an open casket funeral for example but certainly not willy nilly.

Coffins are not reused, neither are handles/nameplates/pins/nails

rainbowstardrops Thu 31-May-18 13:35:24

Absolutely fascinating. I've always wondered how it all works

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:35:58

A catafalque is the platform in which the coffin sits in chapel.

HirplesWithHaggis Thu 31-May-18 13:36:07

I have read recently about paupers funerals, with a cremation but no service (so no family or friends can attend.) I gather the ashes aren't given to family or friends either, so what happens to them?

Pebbles789 Thu 31-May-18 13:37:24

Ah sorry I've just seen your answer about the coffin. Cross posts!

How long does it take to cremate someone?
I agree with a pp, fascinating thread!

CherryBlossom23 Thu 31-May-18 13:37:29

If anyone is interested, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is a really interesting memoir/novel about a women's experience of working in a US crematorium and her thoughts on death culture.

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:38:44

@HirplesWithHaggis we have direct cremations and the ashes are returned to families however I know with local authority contract funerals the ashes are scattered in the grounds of the Crematorium as the majority either don't have any family or the local authority has paid for funeral. It can be different with different areas though.

Anasnake Thu 31-May-18 13:40:31

How did you get into this line of work ?

LifeBeginsAtGin Thu 31-May-18 13:40:43

What happens to rings that can't be taken off (due to weight gain etc) - I see some people whose skin seems to grow over the jewellery it's been on so long?

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:40:45

An average cremation takes between 70-90 minutes depending on how you died/weight/age/sex. Some take longer some take shorter. I've done a 60 minute one and a 3 hour one. You really can't judge it until they're in.

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:41:37

After I left the Army I was at a cross roads. I applied with the local council and got the job.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 31-May-18 13:42:19

Would you cremate more than one person at a time at the request of family? Eg family members who had died together in an accident?

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:43:03

@LifeBeginsAtGin rings/Gold/silver melts and solidifies as little balls which go into the recycling with the rest of the metal unless you have asked for metal to be returned to you.

BubbleBlowingBaby Thu 31-May-18 13:44:10

Goodness.....this would be my dream job! There's something so selfless about helping people at the very end of life.

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:45:02

@ItsAllGoingToBeFine do you mean in the same cremator? If so, no we are only allowed to cremate 1 coffin in the cremator at one time. Sites that have more than one cremator they try to charge both coffins into separate cremators at the same time so they cremate together but not in the same cremator IYSWIM

LifeBeginsAtGin Thu 31-May-18 13:45:56

Thanks Kermit - so say your my MIL who wears a £5k diamond ring would it just melt (do diamonds melt)

SmittenApril Thu 31-May-18 13:46:15

I hope it's not to personal a question...

Will you choose cremation or burial for yourself/family?

FriendlyOcelot Thu 31-May-18 13:47:10

Fascinating thread Kermit.

You mention that some take longer than others. How do you know when the cremation is over? Do you have to keep checking?

KurriKurri Thu 31-May-18 13:48:18

I'm not sure if this question comes into the remit of your job, and it's probably a daft one - but I'll ask anyway grin

When people's ashes are interred in the crematorium grounds and the family have a rememberance plaque put up, can family members then visit as you can a graveyard and lay flowers etc? Can you visit the grounds of a crematorium at any time ?

(I would like to do this where my father and brother's ashes are interred, I've never visited the place because never felt the need but now I;d like too, juts not sur of the etiquette)

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:49:29

@LifeBeginsAtGin the gold would melt certainly but I'm sure about a diamond. I've never had to look for one or deal with one but if I ever do I'll get back to you.

yellowmellw Thu 31-May-18 13:50:29

What does it smell like

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:50:53

@SmittenApril I choose cremation any day. Don't want to be worm food!

yellowmellw Thu 31-May-18 13:51:32

People who have lost pregnancy's early on in my hospital send all the baby's to cremation at some point obviously they all go together as they are so small.

Do you deal with this also and if so are they all in a coffin or are they put in some container of some sort

kermitrulesok Thu 31-May-18 13:52:01

@FriendlyOcelot the rules are - the cremation is finished when the last flicker of orange flame has been extinguished. We have a spy hole to check how the cremation is doing.

BarbaraOcumbungles Thu 31-May-18 13:52:14

I used to live opposite Chelmsford Crem and my car and window cils were always covered in a light covering of ash. Is that normal?

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