An outer burial container encloses the casket and substantially prevents the earth from sinking into the grave.
There are two types: “Grave Liners” and “Vaults”.
Grave Liners merely keep the weight of the earth from crushing the casket. They often incorporate drain holes in order to relieve the pressure of the rising and falling of the water table - and they do not seal. This may allow water to contact the casket. Grave Liners do offer some protection from the weight of the earth that would possibly overcome the limited protection offered by the lid of the casket.
Vaults, on the other hand, constructed of concrete, plastic or metal, use various sealing techniques to prevent the intrusion of water, air or earth from coming in contact with the casket. Remember: Once buried, the casket protects the body only when the vault protects the casket. Vaults also offer greater protection from the weight of the earth that would possibly overcome the protection offered by the lid of the casket.
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