For Immediate 24/7 assistance
Phone: 775-322-9200
Fax: 775-322-6290

P.O. Box 2462
Reno, NV 89505
Phone: 775-322-9200
Fax: 775-322-6290

Cremation FAQ's


What happens during the cremation process?


The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber, where the temperature is raised to approximately 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours, all organic matter is consumed by heat or evaporation. The remaining bone fragments are known as cremated remains (or cremains). The cremated remains are then carefully removed from the cremation chamber. Any metal is removed with a magnet and later disposed of in an approved manner. The cremated remains are then processed into fine particles and are placed in a temporary container provided by the crematory or placed in an urn purchased by the family. The entire process takes approximately four hours. Throughout the cremation process, a carefully controlled labeling system ensures correct identification.



How hot does the cremation chamber get?


The optimum temperature range is 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit for the cremation chamber.



How long does it take to cremate a body?


Cremating at the optimum temperature, the average weighted remains takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Several more hours may be required before the cremated remains are available to the family.



Are cremations done individually?


Yes. We only cremate one deceased person at a time.



Is the body exposed to an open flame during the cremation process?


Yes, the body is exposed to direct heat and flame. Cremation is performed by placing the deceased in a casket or other container and then placing the casket or container into a cremation chamber or retort, where they are subjected to intense heat and flame.



When after death can a cremation take place?


Cremation cannot take place until the following legal documents have been finalized:  the death certificate is signed by the certifier (physician or medical examiner/coroner), the funeral director, and the county registrar.  A burial-transit permit is issued by the county in which the death occurs. The next of kin gives written permission for the cremation unless the deceased signed their own cremation authorization prior to their death.



Is any other preparation required prior to cremation?


Mechanical or radioactive devices in the deceased may create a hazardous condition when placed in the cremation chamber.  It is imperative that these items be removed prior to cremation.  In addition, any special mementos placed with the deceased's remains, such as jewelry, will be destroyed during the cremation process. 



I've heard you don't get ashes back -- what do you get?


Incineration of the cremation casket/container and contents is accomplished and most substances are consumed, except bone fragments (calcium compounds), which will normally weigh several pounds in the case of an average size adult.



Is embalming necessary for cremation?


No. In most cases it's your choice. It may depend on whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body, whether there is to be a funeral service, or whether there is refrigeration available. Embalming may also be necessary if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the cremation.



 Is a casket required?


No. For sanitary reasons, ease of placement and dignity, many crematories require that the deceased be cremated in a combustible, leak-proof, rigid, covered container. This does not need to be a casket as such. What is required is a rigid container made of wood or other combustible material to allow for the dignified handling of human remains. The type of casket or container selected is really a personal decision. Caskets and containers are available in a wide variety of materials ranging from simple cardboard containers to beautifully handcrafted oak, maple or mahogany caskets.



Are there special cremation caskets?


There is a choice of very affordable cremation caskets that are completely combustible. The selection includes options from a simple pine or cloth-covered casket to a hardwood casket.



Can a casket be rented instead of purchased when choosing cremation?


We offer several ceremonial caskets for viewing or funeral services prior to cremation. The ceremonial (or rental) caskets are specifically designed to provide an aesthetically pleasing, affordable and environmentally prudent alternative to purchasing a casket for a cremation service.



Do all funeral homes and cemeteries have a crematory?


No - actually, only a small percentage of cremation service providers have their own crematories.  Most of them have to surrender custody of deceased persons into a third party's hands.  However, we have our own crematories, so your loved one never has to leave our care.



Is cremation a substitution for a funeral?


No, cremation is simply a method of preparing human remains for final disposition.



Do I have to make different funeral arrangements if I choose cremation?


It really depends entirely on how you wish to commemorate a life. One of the advantages of cremation is that it provides you with increased flexibility when you make your funeral and cemetery arrangements. You might, for example, choose to have a funeral service before the cremation; a memorial service at the time of cremation or after the cremation with the urn present; or a committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains. Funeral or memorial services can be held in a place of worship, a funeral home or in a crematory chapel.



Can we have the service before or after the cremation?


It's completely a matter of family preference. Many times when a family is split regarding the decision to cremate, a compromise may be achieved by having a traditional service first - to be followed by cremation.



What can be done with the cremated remains?


Your options are numerous. The cremains can be interred in a cemetery plot, i.e., earth burial, retained by a family member, usually in an urn, scattered on private property, or at a place that was significant to the deceased. (It would always be advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place.) Cremation is just one step in the commemorative process—the preparation of the human remains for memorialization. Today, there are many different types of memorial options from which to choose. Memorialization is a time-honored tradition that has been practiced for centuries. A memorial serves as a tribute to a life lived and provides a focal point for remembrance, as well as a record for future generations. The type of memorial you choose is a personal decision. The limit is set only by your imagination.



Can I scatter the remains on private property?


Yes, with permission of the owner.



What is memorialization for a cremation?


You might choose ground burial of the urn. If so, you may usually choose either a bronze memorial or monument. Also available at many cemeteries are cremation niches in columbarium's. They offer the beauty of a mausoleum setting with the benefits of above ground placement of remains. Many cemeteries also offer scattering gardens. This area of a cemetery offers the peacefulness of a serene garden where family and friends can come and reflect.



What is a columbarium?


A columbarium, often located within a mausoleum or chapel, sometimes free-standing, either indoor or outdoor, is constructed of numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains.

If I'm going to be cremated, why would I want my remains to be placed in a columbarium, or interred or scattered at the cemetery? Why shouldn't I just have them scattered in the sea or in some other place of my choosing?

As long as it's permitted by local regulations, the cremated remains can be scattered in a place that is meaningful to you. This can, however, present difficulties for your survivors. Some people may find it hard to simply pour the remains of a loved one out onto the ground or into the sea. If you wish to be scattered somewhere, it is therefore important to discuss your wishes ahead of time with the person or persons who will actually have to do the scattering. Another difficulty with scattering can occur when the remains are disposed of in an anonymous, unmarked or public place. Access to the area may be restricted for some reason in the future, undeveloped land may be developed, or any of a host of other conditions may arise that could make it difficult for your survivors to visit the site to remember you. Even if your cremated remains are scattered in your backyard, what happens if your survivors relocate sometime in the future? Once scattered, cremated remains cannot easily be collected back up. Having your remains placed, interred or scattered on a cemetery’s grounds ensures that future generations will have a place to go to remember. If remains are scattered somewhere outside the cemetery, many cemeteries will allow you to place a memorial of some type on the cemetery grounds, so survivors have a place to visit that will always be maintained and preserved.



Why is having a place to visit so important?


Because it provides a focal point for memorializing the deceased. To remember, and be remembered, are natural human needs. Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead has been a key component of almost every culture. The Washington Monument, Tomb of the Unknowns and Vietnam “Wall” in Washington, D.C are examples of memorialization which demonstrate that, throughout our history, we have always honored our dead. Psychologists say that remembrance practices, from the funeral or memorial service to permanent memorialization, serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping to bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin. Providing a permanent resting place for the deceased is a dignified treatment for a loved one's remains, which fulfills the natural human desire for memorialization.



If I'm cremated, can I be buried with my spouse even if he or she was in a casket?


Yes — Depending upon the cemetery's policy, you may be able to save a grave space by having the cremains buried on top of the casketed remains of your spouse, or utilize the space provided next to him/her. Many cemeteries allow for multiple cremated remains to be interred in a single grave space.



Can I take the cremated remains home?


Yes. The remains are normally placed in an urn. Most families select an urn that is suitable for placement on a mantle or shelf. Urns are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials.



Do all religions permit cremation?


Some religions prefer cremation; some do not recommend the practice; most permit you to choose. Should you have any questions or concerns, we suggest you consult with your clergy.