Most cemeteries require a receptacle to place the casket in for burial. Their primary purpose is to support the soil. The minimum requirement is usually a concrete box, but other options are metal and fiberglass. When the body will be entombed in a mausoleum, the cemetery does not require any container beyond the casket.
Types of outer burial containers include:
|Grave Boxes and Grave Liners|
These are the most basic of the outer burial containers. They are usually made of wood or concrete and are designed primarily to support the soil. They are not sealed, and therefore, offer minimal protection for the casket.
These outer burial containers also support the soil but are sealed to help protect the casket from the elements. Vaults are made from metals (such as steel, copper and bronze), concrete, plastic, and composite products.
Concrete vaults often have inner liners made of metals or composite products.
Some vaults have an air seal that uses air pressure to help keep the elements away from the casket while others are top sealed.
Vaults are also available for burial of urns.
It is unlawful under Federal law for a funeral provider to tell a customer that outer burial containers are required by state or local laws, or by particular cemeteries if such is not the case. Generally, outer burial containers are not required by state or local laws, but they are oftentimes required by cemeteries to prevent the grave from collapse.