At Burstows, everything we do we do to honour life. This is also reflected in the care and respect taken when we deal with a loved one throughout the cremation process.


We always:

  • Abide by Government regulations, including those of the State Government Health Department.
  • Follow our own strict policies, procedures and code of behaviour.
  • Ensure the name plate remains alongside the deceased throughout the cremation process.
  • Ensure cremated remains of an individual are kept together and not mixed with other cremated remains.
  • In all cases, only one deceased is cremated at a time (unless there are extenuating circumstances and then only with the approval and knowledge of the family and in accordance with Health Department Regulations).
  • Burstows embrace transparency and provide a viewing lounge adjacent to the cremation chamber for family members or a family representative desiring to witness the insertion of the coffin into the cremation chamber.

Understanding the Cremation Process

Following the funeral service, the coffin is moved to the crematorium, located on the grounds of the TS Burstow Funeral Home.

Once accepted by crematorium staff the coffin remains sealed throughout the cremation process.

Verification of deceased
Staff verify the identity of the deceased via the name plate on the coffin, ensuring the details match the 'Application for Cremation' (the document required by Health Department Regulations before a cremation can take place) and the two Medical Certificates or Coroner's Cremation Permit received from the funeral director. In addition to confirmation of death the medical certificate indicates if battery powered devices (such as a pace-maker) have been removed.
Flowers remaining with the coffin are cremated with the coffin. Families should ask their funeral director during the arrangement process if they wish to retain flowers following the funeral service.
When will the cremation occur?

The cremation will generally be carried out on the same day as the funeral service but, in accordance with Health Department Regulations, can occur up to 48 hours later.

If the cremation is not to occur immediately, the coffin is held in a temperature controlled holding room.

Preparation for cremation

When cremation is due to occur:

  • The coffin is transferred onto an insertion trolley
  • The name plate is removed, and placed alongside the cremator, for identification throughout the process
  • The coffin is inserted into the cremator.
  • In all cases, the coffin and deceased are cremated together. Cremation begins immediately once the coffin is inserted into the cremator.
The cremation process

Cremators generally comprise of a main cremating chamber, a secondary air chamber and a holding chamber.

In accordance with Health Department Regulations, coffins must be cremated individually, in other words, only one coffin is ever placed inside the main cremation chamber at any one time. Likewise there may only be one body per coffin except in special circumstances which require permission from the Director General of Health.

At the completion of the main phase of the cremation process the cremated remains are moved into the holding chamber to finalise the cremation. Once finalised, the cremated remains are placed into a cooling container. When cooled, metallic contents (prostheses, coffin nails etc) are separated from the remains and disposed of in an appropriate manner.

Cremated remains or ashes
Commonly cremated remains are referred to as 'ashes'. However, technically there are no ashes, what are left are the fragile calcified bone fragments.
Ash container

The cremated remains are transferred to a processor to reduce the bone fragments to a fine granule type consistency which in turn is placed in a sealed container. the name plate and an identifying label are attached.

The container accommodates all of the cremated remains. In the unusual event that an ash container is insufficient to hold all of the ashes, an extra container is used.

Ash containers are held until instructions are received from the family or applicant. The ashes are then, subject to Health Department Regulations, dealt with according to the instruction given.

How do we manage the metals after a cremation?

After a cremation, metals remaining range from nails, staples and fittings from the coffin/casket, through to orthopedic implants, jewellery and even dental implants. These are separated and collected for recycling by OrthoMetals.

OrthoMetals is a fully certified; family owned and operated business and take great care in the recycling of remaining metals for crematoria.

At their partner foundries, the sorted metals are smelted for re-use. None of the metals will be recognisably re-used for other purposes than the original purpose.

The metals are sold at intraday prices (precious metals) or market prices (non-ferrous and implants).

After deduction of OrthoMetals costs, most of the proceeds are returned to the crematoria.

Burstows choose to donate the full proceeds to charity and our current beneficiaries are:

Toowoomba Hospice
The Toowoomba Hospital Foundation
Toowoomba Legacy Inc.

Interesting Facts

  • Over 130 000 people die in Australia each year.
  • 56% of people currently opt for cremation with the number slowly increasing. In urban area where crematoria are more readily available the rate approaches 70%.
  • Cremation is usually not acceptable within Orthodox Judaism, Islam and Eastern Orthodoxy. However, most Christian denominations approve cremation, and it is the preferred method among Hindus and many Buddhists.
  • The Roman Catholic Church no longer considers there to be a danger that Christian cremation will be associated with non-Christian belief, or with a denial of such doctrines as the resurrection of the body, immortality of the soul, and the existence of eternal life. The Catholic Church recommends cremated remains are disposed of in a way that indicates respect for the body of the deceased person. A memorial in a public place is favoured so that even in death the deceased person's commitment to Christianity is still proclaimed.
  • Once the crematorium has accepted the coffin it may not be opened.
  • One person is only ever cremated at a time. The only exception is in the case of a mother and baby or twin children. It may also be acceptable for both a mother and baby or twin children to be in the same coffin. In these instances, the process would only occur as a result of a direction from the authorised family member.
  • A cremator is made from refractory (heat resistant) bricks and fuelled by natural gas.
  • All coffin handles are cremated unless they hinder the cremation process.
  • The time taken to cremate will depend on many factors including body mass, bone density and the materials from which the coffin is manufactured. The average time for an adult cremation is 90 minutes at a temperature of between 800 and 1000 degree Celsius.
  • On average from insertion to final cooling the cremation process may take up to four hours.

Audio/Visual Rooms

Our facilities are state of the art and custom built to assist you in every way possible.

Contact Us

In the event of a death in the family, contact Burstows without delay. A funeral director is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and will provide help and guidance from the first contact.