Though most cemetery rules and regulations require outer burial vaults for caskets, opting for these containers and vaults is not necessary as per the federal law.
A burial vault is used to line the grave before placing the casket or coffin in it, so as to prevent the ground above the casket from sinking in.
Cemeteries usually lay emphasis on the vaults and grave liners to reduce their burden of maintenance required to keep the ground on level.
In case you are wondering about the difference between a burial vault and grave liner, suffice it to know that the latter is not sealed. Consequently, burial vaults are more expensive than grave liners.
Coming to burial vaults, they are also useful when there are high ground water levels as they protect the ground water and soil from human contamination resulting from decomposition. Thus, they are more common in low-lying areas.
More often than not, burial containers are made of concrete, metal, or polystyrene in order to protect the casket or coffin from the weight of the earth. Besides, they can be lined with stainless steel, bronze, copper, fiberglass, etc.
Basically, burial vaults are built to be strong enough so as to withstand the weight of heavy maintenance equipment without causing any damage to the casket. Hence, it makes the task of caring for the cemetery grounds easier.
Although burial vaults are plain and simple, certain companies entice the customers to go for elaborate burial vaults with ornamentation, storage compartments, etc. Consumer experts, however, suggest that you need not spend extravagantly on the vault.
The reason is that the vault is not available for public view as it is placed in the ground much before the graveside service.
So, only the funeral staff would get to see the vault and appreciate its beauty. As opting for a burial vault tends to add to the funeral expenses, you can consider going for an inexpensive concrete vault.
While purchasing a burial vault, though, do not be misled by statements that make exaggerated claims. Keep in mind that no burial vault or casket can prevent the eventual decomposition of the human remains.
In addition, according to the Funeral Rule, it is illegal for the funeral providers to claim that burial vaults or grave liners keep dirt, water, or other debris from getting into the casket.
Furthermore, if you are not sure whether you should buy a burial vault or not then take your local customs and regulations into consideration.
Before buying burial or urn vault, make sure you compare prices of the products from different sources. More often than not, funeral homes and cemeteries offer burial containers and other products at a much higher price than the third party dealers.