Cremation and burial of ashes has almost become the most common form of funeral. This is due to the processes that have helped and also gave rise to the cremation service as an option spread, for example, the increasing number of operating crematoriums in Austria.
More and more families are choosing to carry the ashes of the deceased home, or to put them to final resting place outside the cemetery, for financial or beliefs spout reasons. In addition, the disintegration of families also play a role in the process of becoming more and more popular, as relatives do not want- or financially unable to arrange a coffin funeral to the deceased.
Below you will find a comprehensive description of cremation process.
Who can be cremated?
Dead body can be cremated if identity of the deceased can be clearly determined and Dead Inspection Certificate authorizes cremation. Cremation of an unidentified dead body is specifically prohibited. It’s not possible to cremate a deceased whose death’s circumstances are still being investigated by the Police either.
Body of foreign citizens can only be cremated by permission of the assigned Embassy, or competent authority of last place of residence of deceased, exepting as an international agreement provides otherwise.
In all other cases body of Austrian deceased’s can be cremated.
Where will cremation take place?
Shortly, cremation can be made in any licensed crematorium in Austria or abroad. (Dead body of Austrian citizens can be cremated abroad as well.)
When cremation can be done?
Deceased can be transported to crematorium and can be cremated immediately upon receipt of Dead Inspection Certification. Dead body must be cooled until cremation.
Transportation the deceased to crematiorium
Dead body can only be transported in coffin or cremation casket, by a vehicle designed for the special purpose, meeting public health- and epidermiological regulations, and fitting basic piety requirements.
Identification of the deceased
Administrator of Crematorium identifies the deceased by Dead Inspection Certificate. Cheching of personal data is essential - in case of any discrepancy, crematorium will deny to accept of dead body. Data of Dead Inspection Certificate will strictly be compared with identification forms fixed onto two opposite limbs of the deceased. This form indicates name, date of birth, place and date of death of the deceased. Unknown dead body can not be cremated.
The deceased received to crematorium is assigned a unique identification number that accompanies the whole path of the deceased within the crematorium. This cremation ID number of incombustible material, shall be put into and outside of the cremation coffin, and stickers indicating the same number, shall be fixed onto the relevant Death Inspection Certificate also.
Deceased taken for cremation must be kept cool. Following the the handover, administrator makes copy of Dead Inspection Certificate. Bereaved shall receive the original copy. All data of the deceased will be recorded in the electronic registration. Cremation specialist - who is responsible for the deceased from that moment - takes over dead body and all documentation of deceased, schedules time of cremation. He decides to place deceased to the cooling chamber or to take directly for cremation.
Documentation required for cremation
The below listed documents are essential to cremate the deceased:
Dead Inspection Certificate: Doctor making death inspection completes this document. Other specialists will also fill the relevant columns, if needed. All columns must be filled out and duly signed.
Official Permission: This document is required for extraordinary death case. If the need of further official proceedings is indicated in Dead Inspection Certificate, then permission of relevant authority is also essential for burial or for cremation.
Consular approval: For cremation of a foreign citizen deceased in Austria or repatriated for cremation to Austria, it’s necessary to have approval from consulate of deceased’s nationality, or from competent authority of last place of residence of the deceased, exepting as an international agreement provides otherwise.
There is a kind of consular license, which provides an opportunity for relatives to authorize cremation, meanwhile Embassy generally permits the cremation.
Death Certificate: It may be necessary to ascertain the nationality of the deceased, if the deceased's place of birth is not located within the administrative boundaries of the present-day Austria.
Cremation Declaration: Person covering the funeral, declares intention to to have the deceased cremated, specifies type of urn instertion and destination of cremated ashes.
Process of cremation
Prior to the first cremation furnace should be heated. The heating process taking 3-4 hours, starts by the cremation specialist. A computer program for automated gas burners heats up the furnace up to 700 to 900 oC.
Floor of furnace must be completely empty and clear prior to cremation.
Operation temperature of cremation furnace must be between 750 oC and 900 oC.
If cremation specialist finds everything in order, cremation can be started.
When the required temperature is reached, cremation specialist identifies deceased once more. All details are recorded to computer program of cremation furnace. At the beginning of cremation, there must be two cremation specialists present, for fire- and safety reasons.
After the coffin placed to combustion chamber by a special tool, door of furnace gets locked.
When the door closes, cremation process begins automatically.
Computer program controls the amount of air in the combustion chamber by sensors, as well as regulates the internal temperature of the furnace which can be a maximum of 1000-1100 oC. Cremation progress takes about 60 minutes.
Cremation is completed, when only the glowing skeleton remains on the floor of furnace.
During all the time of process, cremation specialist monitors the progress at control panel of furnace, so that any fault may occur can be eliminated immediately.
After the cremation process, the temperature is reduced to 700 to 800 oC. Cremation specialist opens the door. The incombustible label and the remaining bones are moved to a cooling area for approximately 30 minutes. After cooling, remains are put into a heat-resistant stainless steel grinding. Floor of furnace must be completely empty and clear after cremation.
Ashes placed in urn
ID label is removed from the vessel and immediately put into the prepared urn insertion titled with the name of the deceased. Inner and outer side of urn insertion is labelled with data of place, date and registry number of cremation, name-, date of birth and –death of the deceased.
Bones ground into ashes, and placed into urn instertion of same capacity as of ashes, then the lid is hermetically soldered on top.