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Crematorium time slots shorter

Crematoria are more likely to have slightly shorter service times than they used to, reports a survey of crematoria carried out by the Cremation Society of Great Britain Management. 

They are also more likely to allow the removal of the coffin lid during a service and far less likely to refuse to take a large coffin.

The survey results, which are published in pie chart format in the winter 2013 edition of the society’s magazine Pharos International, make interesting reading, reflecting growing trends and changes in practices. 

With service times, for example, the survey found that 30-minute time slots were most common, with 45.5% taking this long in 2013 – up from 42% in 2007. However, whereas in 2007, the next most frequent time frame was 45 minutes, accounting for 30% of services, by 2013, only 6.4% of services were taking this long. 

In 2013, services lasting 20 minutes were more prevalent, accounting for 18% (only 0.8% in 2007), as were 25-minute ceremonies. In 2013, 10.5% of slots lasted this long, whereas in 2007, only 0.4% did.

The survey also revealed that it has become more usual for crematoria to allow the removal of the coffin lid during services. 

According to the survey results in 2011, the last time the question was asked, just over half (52%) allowed this, with 34% refusing. Almost all of the remainder left the question unanswered. 

Two years later, however, while the number refusing permission had only fallen slightly, the number allowing the practice had risen to more than 61%. 

Back in 2007, more than two thirds (67.6%) of crematoria had declined a larger size coffin but six years later, this figure had tumbled to only 28.5%, as more crematoria are gearing up to cope with the rise in obesity among the British population.

The growing environmental awareness and implementation of emission reduction policies is also reflected in the increase in the number of cremators with heat exchangers. 

In 2009, nearly two thirds of crematoria did not have a cremator with a heat exchanger, while only 3% did. By last year, those proportions had changed quite significantly. While just over half still did not have a cremator with a heat exchanger, over a third were able to answer ‘yes’ to that question.

One thing that has changed little is the number of crematoria holding over bodies over the last two years. In 2011, just under half responded that they did not do this, with just over a third (35.6%) saying that they do. By 2013, those proportions stayed much the same.

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