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Thinking About Adding a Crematory? New Resource for NFDA Members Offers Vital Information

July 8, 2014

Thinking About Adding a Crematory? New Resource for NFDA Members Offers Vital Information

Brookfield, Wis. – As the cremation rate continues to increase, many funeral home owners consider expanding their facilities and adding a crematory, rather than relying on a third-party cremation provider. National Funeral Directors Association’s (NFDA) Cremation Services has released Opening a Crematory: Frequently Asked Questions for Funeral Professionals. This new resource will help NFDA member funeral home owners discern whether adding a crematory makes good business sense and navigate the challenges of obtaining legal and regulatory approval from local and state officials.
“For some funeral homes, given their current and projected rates of cremation, adding a crematory can be a good investment,” said Mike Nicodemus, CFSP, CCO, NFDA’s vice president of cremation services. “However, the challenges presented by zoning boards and the potential for community opposition can be daunting. The Opening a Crematory guide will help NFDA members understand what a funeral home owner must consider and plan for to be successful in their bid to add a crematory.”
According to Nicodemus, Opening a Crematory: Frequently Asked Questions for Funeral Professionals also connects members with other informational resources and cremation experts that can provide individualized assistance to funeral home owners.
Opening a Crematory addresses topics such as the factors one should consider when selecting a cremator manufacturer, the initial steps for obtaining zoning approval, environmental approvals and permits, responding to community concerns and maintaining positive relationships with the community after the crematory opens.
A team of cremation experts, which includes Nicodemus; T. Scott Gilligan, NFDA general counsel; Carol Green, NFDA environmental compliance counsel, Dr. Laura Green, environmental scientist and toxicologist; Edward Ranier, NFDA OSHA and labor legal counsel; and Mike Watkins, CFSP, CCO, NFDA senior vice president of operations, developed the guide.

NFDA members may download Opening a Crematory: Frequently Asked Questions for Funeral Professionals from the NFDA website, (member login required). Members can also call their NFDA member services representative at 800-228-6332 to obtain a copy of Opening a Crematory.
Achieve More With NFDA Cremation Services
As more and more families request cremation, NFDA wants to help members be prepared to answer their questions and thoughtfully guide them so the funeral or memorial service they plan meaningfully honors their loved one. NFDA’s cremation services will help funeral professionals assist families with blending aspects of a traditional funeral service, even if they choose cremation; learn about the process of cremation so they can more effectively answer families’ questions; protect their firm from potential liabilities related to offering cremation, even if they don’t own a crematory; prepare for the ongoing rise in cremation; and more.
NFDA Cremation Services offerings include:
  • Comprehensive educational and informational offerings. Staying up-to-date on the evolving needs of families that choose cremation has never been more easy, convenient or cost effective. NFDA offers comprehensive, convenient and cost-effective educational options; information on its website and articles in The Director magazine and other publications. The association also has critical legal forms and documents, such as cremation authorization forms and the recently updated Due Diligence for Funeral Homes Utilizing Third Party Crematories document.
  • Cremation Certification. NFDA’s Certified Crematory Operator (CCO) Program is the recognized certification standard for funeral service professionals. The CCO program was developed for all funeral professionals, whether they use a third-party crematory, own a crematory or are an operator. After completing the program, participants will have a thorough understanding of their legal and ethical obligations during the entire cremation process, from the moment they take a decedent into their care, until they return the cremated remains to the family. More information is available online,
  • NFDA Member Cremation Consultation Services Hotline – 800-228-6332. Cremation experts are available to speak one-on-one with NFDA members about their specific circumstances, needs and questions.

  • Personalized Services. NFDA members can speak with their member services representative to learn about personalized assistance with cremation-related questions and circumstances. Member services representatives can direct callers to the individuals, resources and services that will provide the needed information.
NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 39 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit