What is cremation? Cremation is the use of oxidation, vaporization and high-temperature burning to reduce human bodies or dead animals to basic chemical compounds. During the procedure, the body is enclosed in a container and placed in a cremation chamber. Then, the soft tissues are vaporized and the bone fragments remain. These remains may be buried, placed in cemeteries or memorial sites, or they may be retained by family relatives. Cremation is not an alternative to customary funeral services, but rather an alternative form of disposition. People remember the life of the deceased, share their grief, and prepare themselves for moving on though a funeral. In most countries, cremation is often done in a crematorium. There are also some countries like Nepal and India that prefer open-air cremation. Cremation Vs. Burial Nowadays, a lot of people choose cremation over a burial due to several factors. These include convenience or simplicity, environmental philosophy, spiritual or personal philosophy, economy and religious acceptance. Since cremation does not require embalming, it is more cost-effective than a direct burial. Another reason why people choose cremation is because it reduces the bodies to cremated remains in just a few hours whereas traditional burials follow the process of natural and slow decomposition. Next is the simplicity of the process which can also help save ground space. In terms of memorialization, cremations provides more flexibility to those people who live away from their relatives. Choosing a Cremation Provider Choosing the right cremation company is an important decision to make. There several things that you need to take into consideration. Whether you want to learn about different advanced-planning options or you need immediate assistance due to the death of your relative, it is important to select a cremation company that can offer you support, guidance and can meet your needs. Crematory location The crematory location must be in a facility that allows for public inspection and accepts visitors. Affiliations In the funeral industry, most companies operate and own various crematory or mortuary centers under different names. It is important to know the reputation of each center. It is recommended to choose a cremation provider that is a member of Better Business Bureau or Cremation Association of North America (CANA). Procedures and Policies A reputable cremation company has written procedures and policies to make sure that your loved one will be tread with dignity and cared for properly. As one of your rights as a consumer, you can request and receive copies of the procedural manual and the company’s policy. Furthermore, a family relative should have an opportunity to identify the deceased before starting the cremation process. Up-front payment In the funeral industry, every company is required Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires to have a General Price List for the services. This list should be given to consumers before discussing the services. The average cost of a cremation service is between $1,700 and $1800. However, direct cremation which has no a viewing service costs around $800. To find the most affordable prices near you, you can contact the Funeral Consumer’s Alliance. It is a non-profit consumer organization. Inspection You have the right as a consumer to inspect everything mentioned above. If the cremation service provider denied inspection, find another company. Witnessed Cremation For some people, witnessing the cremation process offers peace of mind and closure. A cremation service provider should give every family member a right to witness the cremation process. Conclusion There are several things that you need to take account when choosing the right cremation service provider. These include crematory location, affiliations, procedures, policies, up-front payment, inspection, and witnessed cremation.