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Burial Vault: What it is and How to Pick the Right One

Published: September 5, 2022
funeral home in Unionville, PA

Asides from picking out the casket, and other funeral merchandise, you may also have to pick out a burial vault. It’s part of a list of expenses when working with a funeral home in Unionville, PA

But what exactly is it? Why do you need one? And how do you choose the right vault? We answer these questions below.

What is a burial vault?

A burial vault is a lined, sealed outer container for a casket and serves a protective purpose. It protects the casket from water and insects, as well as heavy equipment that helps maintain cemetery grounds. 

Burial vaults are not the same as burial or grave liners. While they serve the same function, burial vaults are lined on all four sides, the top and bottom. They offer total protection, unlike burial liners which usually have no bottom and provide fewer protections than a vault. 

That said, both containers are made from metal, concrete, plastic, or any durable material. They are installed in the grave before the casket is lowered in after. 

Burial vaults have always existed to protect caskets. They originally protected against grave robbers who stole clothing, jewelry, and sometimes, the body. And while grave robbers are no longer a significant concern, burial vaults continue to be a necessity.

Why do you need one?

You don’t “need” a burial vault. No federal or state laws compel families to use burial vaults. However, it is a requirement born out of preservation. 

While vaults guarded against robbers, they also protected the casket from the weight of the earth. They prevented the ground from settling and helped maintain the structure of the cemetery grounds, especially as heavy equipment like backhoes pass over the graves. 

However, the cemetery is not the only one that benefits from a burial vault. Burial vaults keep the casket in one piece if the family ever needs to relocate the body. Plus, it offers an immeasurable peace of mind that their loved one is safe and secure. 

Still, a burial vault is expensive funeral merchandise, and natural burial and cremation are cheaper alternatives if you don’t want to buy one. Natural burial grounds do not require burial vaults, and cremation converts the body into cremated ashes.

funeral home Unionville, PA

How to pick the right one

Step 1: Check cemetery rules

If you choose to buy a burial vault, start by checking cemetery regulations to know what’s allowed and what isn’t. 

Step 2: Measure the casket

Second, measure the casket to ensure you have the correct external dimensions for the casket. It’s crucial that the casket conveniently fits inside the vault. 

Step 3: Know your budget

Next, find vault options that fit into your budget. Prices depend on the manufacturer, size, material, features, and customization options.  

Some manufacturers offer nameplate designs with words, photos, and emblems. You can get one with a simple design or one with a decorative exterior. And that’s it.  

Contact us if you have additional questions. Our professional staff is available 24/7 to answer them. We also provide funeral home services to families in Unionville, PA, and its environs. Call us now to speak with our funeral director

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