Page 4 | Crematorium Technician here

(687 Posts)

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CodLiverOil556 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.

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yellowmellw Thu 31-May-18 14:08:42

Thank you

CodLiverOil556 Thu 31-May-18 14:09:21

@brizzledrizzle it's a very small portion of coffin as 99% of coffin burns away completely

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CodLiverOil556 Thu 31-May-18 14:10:43

@PurpleStarInCashmereSky cancer tumors make a cremation last longer. Sometimes the very elderly/frail take a little while longer. You really can never tell

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BuggerOffAndGoodDayToYou Thu 31-May-18 14:11:21

What an interesting thread. Thank you OP.

PenCobSwan Thu 31-May-18 14:11:28

How do you make the fire in the cremator ? You said you use electricity, how does the body catch on fire ?

If it takes, say, around an hour on average for a standard sized adult to be cremated and there are 6 cremations per day, do you stay until late in the day to get all the bodies cremated ?

Does it take long for the ashes to cool ?

How long does it take for the cremator to cool down enough to get the next deceased in ? How do you get them in, like a baker uses a 'paddle' style utensil to put the bread in an old 'brick oven' ? (Sorry for being facetious but the question is real)

CodLiverOil556 Thu 31-May-18 14:11:46

@Catcrazy008 I believe that some people never make it to the other side and hang around if I'm ever on my own when cremation I say hello to everyone

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shinycat Thu 31-May-18 14:12:27


If a family are cremating a loved one, would it perhaps make more sense to advise them to not have a coffin with brass handles/ nameplates/ adornments etc (made of are plastic,) if they are not allowed in the cremator?

Maybe it would be a good idea to suggest to people that they have a wooden coffin/or a cardboard one like this.

shinycat Thu 31-May-18 14:13:21

Hope you don't mind me asking that? ^ smile

Crumbelina Thu 31-May-18 14:13:39

This thread is going a bit better compared to when an estate agent posted and offered to answer questions. grin

PenCobSwan Thu 31-May-18 14:15:04

I guess there's some coffins lined up behind the scenes at the crem waiting for their turn in the cremator because the funeral is long finished and the mourners gone ? You can't go home until they are all done. Would that be correct ?

You must be reliant on the embalmer's art as there's no mortuary at the crem i.e. no way to keep the bodies in the coffins cool whilst they await their turn.

MNOverinvestor Thu 31-May-18 14:15:22

placemarking (and in admiration...)

Proseccoagain Thu 31-May-18 14:15:51

I was really surprised how heavy DH's ashes were. But then I thought, he was a big lad, over 6 ft and well built. They are in my wardrobe at the moment.

Weaverspin Thu 31-May-18 14:16:41

@shineycat - if a coffin is for cremation, it will not have real brass handles, but plastic 'brass effect' handles. That's one of the things a funeral director will check on during the planning stages.

CodLiverOil556 Thu 31-May-18 14:16:51

@PenCobSwan we have a burner and air jets. The cremator has to be a minimum of 850 degrees c before we can charge it so 9 times out of 10 the coffins sets on fire as soon as you open the door. We control the burning process with introducing air and the actual process uses the wood of coffin and the persons fats/flesh.

Yes, stay until the last cremation has finished and it takes around 60 minutes for the ashes to cool before we can deal with them.

Cremator doesn't cool between cremations and it takes around 5-10 minutes for us to get the cremator ready for the next coffin.

We use a trolley that is the exact height and manually push the coffin in but you can get auto chargers that do all that for you.

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ParisUSM Thu 31-May-18 14:18:13

Really interesting thread and answered a couple of things I've wondered about in the past, thanks. I was surprised by the weight of ashes, I expected them to be much lighter

CodLiverOil556 Thu 31-May-18 14:18:37

@shinycat plastic handles are allowed in cremator it's the brass ones that are not. I personally don't like the cardboard coffins as they too flimsy for my liking and also create a lot of ash.

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SexyManatee Thu 31-May-18 14:20:25

Great thread OP, thank you for your insight. It is really interesting and helpful on a personal level.

CodLiverOil556 Thu 31-May-18 14:20:25

@PenCobSwan yes there is normally a queue but everyone is dealt with with respect and reverence when in our care. I always say Cheerio and wish them well when charging a cremator.

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ReluctantlyRedundant101 Thu 31-May-18 14:20:27

Great thread OP I think you're putting a lot of people's minds at rest
Also flowers for the job you do respectfully sending people on their way

MarSeeAh Thu 31-May-18 14:22:38

Interesting thread, thanks for this, OP.

I''m a church minister, and have heard (and answered) some of these questions before. It has been my experience that people who work in crematoria, and funeral directors, are all very dedicated, committed and professional people who really care about what they do, and the families and friends who are grieving.

It may seem strange, but I find crematoria very peaceful, calm places - especially "behind the scenes" as it were.

shinycat Thu 31-May-18 14:23:00

Do cardboard coffins create more ash tan wooden ones then?

CodLiverOil556 Thu 31-May-18 14:23:10

All crem tech do the job because they love it. It's a hard job mentally and we all take care of each other. I've had a good sob to my colleague before as I charged a 4 year olds coffin but would never ever let my emotion invade a families grief.

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NoSquirrels Thu 31-May-18 14:23:32

Gosh, what a fascinating thread. Thanks, Kermit.

lastnightidreamtofpotatoes Thu 31-May-18 14:23:41

Fascinating thread, thanks OP. <Morbid alert> In cartoons you can see the skeleton itself bright red, is it like that in real life? When you look in the viewing window thing is it ever a scary sight (in terms of what the body looks like, not the flames)

CodLiverOil556 Thu 31-May-18 14:24:41

@shinycat they seem to...I also don't particularly like wicker coffins as they can just seem too flimsy but are perfectly legal and up to the job.

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