To understand what a crematorium is you must first understand cremation. This where intense heat is used to transform someone’s body into a fine power, known as ashes. It is an alternative to burial - but instead of it taking years to break down the body, cremation only takes a few hours. This process takes place in a crematorium.
The crematorium is a purpose-built facility for cremation. They are usually attached to cemeteries and funeral homes. It includes a cremation chamber or cremator which is a closed industrial furnace built to fit one human body.
Under Australian law, cremations must occur within 48 hours of the funeral service. If it does not take place immediately, the coffin is placed into a refrigerated holding room.
Before cremation occurs, the body must be placed into a coffin or casket beforehand (this is a legal requirement in Australia). For occupational health and safety reasons, all crematoriums require the deceased to be cremated in a combustible, leak-proof, rigid, and covered container. This is so the human remains are properly handled.
It is also important that any pieces of jewellery and other materials that can impact the cremation are removed. This must be done before the coffin with the body is placed into the cremation chambers. Any sort of combustible material or mechanical devices (such as a pacemaker) can explode during the process.
Cremation of an adult occurs at a temperature of between 800 and 1000 degree Celsius. On average, the process of insertion to final cooling may take up to four hours. Once the process is completed, the crematorium will place the ashes into a sealed container, or an urn provided by the family. The family will then collect the ashes and can choose to do what they want with them.
If you would like to understand more about the cremation process, read Safewill's blog post on cremation.
Ultimately, if you decide to choose cremation you may find the following links helpful in helping an appropriate crematorium e in your state:
New South Wales – Find a Crematorium in NSW
Victoria – Cemetery Search
Queensland – Crematoriums in Queensland
Australian Capital Territory – Local Cremation Services
Tasmania – Crematoriums in Tasmania
South Australia – Crematoriums in South Australia
Western Australia – Cemeteries & Crematoriums in WA
Northern Territory – Cremation Services