crematorium oven regulations
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Regulations for installing a crematorium oven

Among the main requirements for installing a crematorium oven, you must take the health and environmental regulations of your country, state and/or autonomous community into account. Another important detail is the price of crematorium ovens. We must admit that they are not cheap and involve a large investment. However, cremations are increasing year after year and are a widely accepted and an increasingly popular option for funeral home customers.

Why to invest in a crematorium oven

The number of cremations is growing year by year around the world to the detriment of families who opt for burial as the final destination for the remains of their loved ones. Among the reasons for the rise in popularity of cremation is that it is a more environmentally friendly and much more economical process, especially after the emergence of low-cost funerals and simple cremations.

There are many countries where cremation is already the majority and most widespread option, such as Japan (99.95%), Taiwan (93%), India (85%) and the United Kingdom (76%). In other countries there is a significant increase in cremations, such as Spain, where one out of every three deceased is cremated. In the United States, in 2005, 32% of families requested the cremation of their deceased, a figure that rose to 56% in 2020 and will exceed 70% by 2030 according to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).

Although in most Latin American countries it is still more traditional to opt for burial, there is also an upward trend in the number of cremations, which already reaches 40% in Brazil, 28% in Mexico and 25% in Argentina.

For this reason, many funeral home directors are considering the possibility of increasing their business with the installation of a crematorium oven that allows them to offer this type of service, which is increasingly in demand by customers. If this is your case, from World Funeral News we recommend that you thoroughly review the legislation and requirements for installing a crematorium oven. Also, if you have the possibility, you should visit other funeral homes and talk to other funeral directors so that they can tell you about their experience.


Historical percentages and forecasts for cremations and traditional funeral services in the USA

USA 2005 2010 2015 2017 2020 2030 2050
Cremation % 32 40 48 51 56 71 90
Traditional Funeral Services % 61 53 45 42 38 23 8

Source: Wikipedia – NFDA


Historical percentages and forecasts for cremations and traditional funeral services in Spain

SPAIN 2005 2010 2015 2017 2020 2030 2050
Cremation % 16 25 36 40 45 65 85
Traditional Funeral Services % 84 75 64 60 55 35 15

Source: Wikipedia – NFDA


How to start a crematorium: regulations

Most countries have a set of laws and requirements for starting a crematorium oven, which are usually set out in their respective health regulations. As a general rule, it is usually necessary to obtain the necessary certifications, permits and licences, as well as to be registered in the registry of funeral homes.

Regulations for crematorium ovens in the United States

In the United States, nearly twenty states require a crematory operation certification: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada (pending), New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Certification courses in corpse handling and licensing in several states are available through the International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association (ICCFA). This association also offers training courses for crematory operators, administrators and funeral directors.

Regulations for installing a crematorium oven in Spain

In Spain, all aspects related to mortuary health, with the exception of the international transfer of corpses, fall within the competence of the Autonomous Communities. This has generated a multitude of regulations which, in order to avoid confusion, have been harmonised in a Consensus Guide on Mortuary Health approved by the Interterritorial Health Council. At the end of this guide, you will find several links to the regional regulations, both in terms of health and the environment.

Among the requirements for crematorium ovens, funeral home service providers may carry out the activity as long as they comply with the services offered, for which they must:

  • Be registered in the Registry/Census of Funeral Homes in each Autonomous Community.
  • Inform the recipients of the services about the mandatory administrative procedures.
  • Have the necessary and sufficient material means to provide the services offered and maintain them in good hygienic and sanitary conditions.
  • To maintain the facilities and services provided in adequate hygienic-sanitary conditions of cleanliness and disinfection.
  • To have duly trained staff in this area.
  • Comply with the corresponding mortuary health regulations of each Autonomous Community and keep a record of the services provided.

Regulations for crematorium ovens in Mexico

In Mexico, the Parliament is in the process of reforming the General Health Law so that establishments offering cremation and burial services for human and animal remains must have a health licence and be registered in a national registry. At the moment the law does not establish requirements to install a crematorium oven, it only states that “the burial, cremation or disintegration of corpses can only be carried out with the authorisation of the corresponding Civil Registry officer, who will require the submission of the death certificate”. The Ministry of Health is in charge of establishing the appropriate places for the treatment of corpses in facilities that meet the sanitary conditions set by the Ministry itself.

What is the approximate price of a crematorium oven?

If you are wondering how to build a crematorium oven and its price, you should bear in mind that the main costs are grouped into three blocks: the purchase of crematorium ovens and other equipment for the incineration of corpses, the land and infrastructure necessary to house the crematorium and the cost of fuel for the operation of the ovens.

How much does a crematorium oven cost?

Cremating corpses requires special equipment designed to meet the international hygiene and safety standards. This equipment has systems that optimise fuel use, minimise emissions and odours and improve the overall time it takes to turn a body into ashes.

To give you an idea of the cost, a crematorium oven weighing twelve tonnes, with exterior dimensions of 4.3 metres long, 2.4 metres wide and 3.5 metres high, two 330-kilowatt burners that reach a temperature of between 850 and 950 degrees Celsius and allow the incineration of a corpse per hour costs approximately 2.5 million euros, according to the public project tendered by the Xunta de Galicia with Funespaña in 2012. This price includes only the material execution, but not the provision of equipment.

To give you another reference, in 2018 a complete crematorium oven system with emission purification and computerised control systems can cost more than 400,000 dollars in the United States.

Therefore, in addition to the legal aspects, among the requirements for installing a crematorium oven, you must also assess the financial capacity of your funeral home to undertake such an investment.

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