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Subject: Re: What do you expect of your offsite records storage provider?? ?
From: "Jones, Virginia" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 27 Dec 2002 15:28:15 -0500

text/plain (71 lines)

Perhaps an understanding of the 2000 standard will help relieve the
perceived apathy.  NFPA 232-2000 includes a wealth of requirements for all
types of records storage - from file rooms to protective vaults.  Chapter 3
gives the requirements for new file rooms, vaults, archives and records
centers.  This is the chapter that is causing the controversy.  It states
that the maximum storage volume of records in a records center "shall not
exceed 250,000 square feet" (maximum for an archive is 125,000 square feet)
"in a single compartment.  Each compartment shall be designed to contain
fire from spreading to any adjacent records storage compartment.  Fire walls
separating records storage compartments shall be a minimum of 4-hour
fire-resistive construction" (in accordance with NFPA 220 - Standard on
Types of Building Construction).  Other requirements in this chapter are set
for sprinklers, the building columns, wall and ceiling finishes, protection
against outside exposure fires, and pre-planned action plans with the fire

As a user of outsourced records storage through contracts with Commercial
Records Centers, my records are prone to be stored in very large facilities.
This exposes my records to potential damage and loss due to fire within
these facilities.  Facilities meeting ALL the current requirements of
Chapter 3 are going to get my business because compartmentalization reduces
the risk of loss from fire for all my records.  Most records centers
"scatter" store the boxes of paper records from any one source.  It is part
of efficient space allocation.  Therefore, in a very large facility, the
chances of all my records being located inside only one compartment are
slim.  If a fire breaks out in one compartment in a properly constructed
facility, then the records in the other compartments will most likely not be
damaged.  I don't loose ALL my records stored at that facility.

Granted, these requirements are not placed on commodity warehouses.  The
loss of canned peaches, computer boards and car parts are not as devastating
to business continuity (especially for multiple businesses using a
commercial storage facility).  More peaches can be canned and more computer
boards and car parts can be manufactured.  The inactive records I have
stored at the records facility, for the most part, cannot be reconstructed.
Those that may possibly be reconstructed usually can only be done so at a
prohibitive cost.

Ginny Jones
(Virginia A. Jones, CRM)
Records Manager
Newport News Dept. of Public Utilities
Newport News, VA
[log in to unmask]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Larry Medina [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, December 26, 2002 12:35 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What do you expect of your offsite records storage
> provider???
> <snip> I don't know if the public apathy relative to this topic is
> similar to many
> other issues which require input (and at times outrage) from
> the involved
> parties or not.
> Is it simply a case of "Well, there's NFPA 232 and it'll
> always be there"
> or "Yeah, I want and need a certain level of protection for my
> organization's assets, but someone else will be sure it's
> there" or is it a
> genuine case of no one really thinks there's a challenge being put up
> against the protections afforded by NFPA 232??

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