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RECMGMT-L  June 2011, Week 1

RECMGMT-L June 2011, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Location of active filerooms

From:

Larry Medina <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 2 Jun 2011 15:44:00 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (43 lines)

Storing records below grade is not generally the desired location, even in
tornado country.  Two principal concerns are water damage (flooding or
accidental pipe damage) and the problems associated with
fighting/extinguishing fires in those spaces.  

Unless there is a sump pump to assist with removal of water that can build
up from sprinkler or hose discharge, eliminating water from a basement area
following the mitigation of a fire can be difficult.  Even when stored on
racks with a minimum of 3" space between the floor and the lowest records.
Failure to do this rapidly can lead to mold growth.  Also, these areas tend
to have humidity concerns unless they are supported by extremely good HVAC
systems.

In tornado/hurricane/earthquake prone areas, the general guidance is to
store active records on above ground level floors, near the "core area" of
the building (away from windows).  Placing them adjacent to the elevator
shaft is advisable to assist with handling the floor loading requirements,
and also to provide added stability in the 'event of an event'.  One thing
to consider though is to avoid storing any media with electronic format
records on them directly against the wall of the elevator shaft, even if the
cabinets are shielded. The strong magnets used for keeping elevator cars
centered in the shafts can potentially damage media.   

Part of your decision process should involve the relative value of the
content of these 'active records'.  Many times, these are short-term
retention records used to document transactions or activities and they MAY
represent the ONLY copy, so if they are A/R or A/P records and they are
swamped or blow out the windows there could be serious financial
repercussions. Another issue is the volume and length of time before they're
cycled out form active to either semi-active or inactive storage, or simply
destroyed because they have met retention.  Compare the cost of square
footage in the various locations, the added labor/effort for ferrying them
from place to place when accessing them, and if there may even be a benefit
to considering imaging them for 'active use' and storing the source material
elsewhere.

Larry
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