Did you know that if you are hoping to bury your loved one’s remains after services at a funeral home in Penn Township, PA, you might be required to purchase a burial vault? But what are burial vaults? Read on to learn more about them, what they do, and if you might need one.
Burial vaults are outside containers that hold a coffin or casket for burying full body in the ground. Their primary function is to protect the casket, and to help maintain the gravesite’s integrity so the surface doesn’t sink in. Most active cemeteries do require burial vaults to keep the cemetery ground intact and safe, however, this requirement is not the law in most states. Pennsylvania state law requires that graves using a non-permeable container, like a vault, must be buried at least 24” below the surface. Meaning, if the container is 12 inches high, then the hole is 36” inches deep. Some cemeteries allow a cremation urn to be buried in an existing grave and allow the urn to be place on top of a previously buried vault. Some families prefer this, as it allows them to place loved ones together even in death.
The majority of states to not have laws requiring burial vault containers for buried cremation urns. Rather, it’s the cemeteries that have the requirement. Cemeteries can choose to require burial vaults for both caskets and urns to preserve the safety and beauty of their cemetery grounds, and to make sure their maintenance equipment is protected. Vaults offer more protection to the ground because as caskets and urns naturally break down and decompose over time, the earth on top of them settles and sinks. Although buried cremation urns cause this settling on a much smaller scale than caskets, most cemeteries do still require burial vaults for urns.
Burial vaults for both urns and caskets are made of durable materials that do not decompose, like metal, concrete or plastic. You can even find solid metal burial vaults. Like most things in life, the quality of the burial vault you choose mostly depends on the price. You can find basic, affordable burial vaults on websites like Amazon for less than $200, but the price only goes up for thicker, heavier, higher quality containers. If you want an ornate, decorated burial vault, you need to be prepared to shell out some serious cash. If you desire a cemetery burial for your loved one but don’t have a big budget, you can save money by choosing a simpler urn and less ornate burial vault. As both will be buried, they don’t have to be ornate. If you desire, you can also buy a decorative urn to memorialize the deceased above ground.
If you have more questions on burial, burial vaults, and Penn Township, PA funeral homes, Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call today to learn more.