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Hugh, if this is not a cry for help, I don't know what is!  Let me know what
I can do to help bring/keep the standards for records centers as high as
possible, to protect our collective information assets.  You already know
about our commitment to quality here at our location, but I think our
insight may help the big picture.  Let's get the momentum up and keep it
rolling!

Joseph Germinario
Allstate Business Archives/Vault Services
80 Beckwith Avenue
Paterson, NJ 07503-2804
973.345.7776x211 Phone
973.345.7838        Fax
mailto:[log in to unmask]
http://www.allstat.com/

 -----Original Message-----
From:   Hugh Smith [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent:   Saturday, January 13, 2001 8:37 PM
To:     [log in to unmask]
Subject:        Re: New NFPA Standard

************************
> It is my understanding that the new 232 combined both 232 and 232A.
> Hugh Smith was involved with the standard revision so he might know.
> Can you tell us Hugh?
>
> --
> Ginny Jones
> (Virginia A. Jones, CRM)
> [log in to unmask]

As of 2000, 232 and 232A have been combined and "A" no longer is a stand
alone document. It was felt by the committee that the vault and records
center design elements fit better into one standard since so many issues
were interrelated.

The new standard is more rigid and receiving a lot of flack from some
commercial records centers who resent having a viable set of guidelines that
allow RM's to evaluate them on a performance and comparative basis. (Or
there are those who say, "Nobody needs or wants to pay for higher levels of
protection for records that aren't all that valuable to begin with.")

American Records Management hosted an ARMA session on this in Frederick,
Maryland and Stephen Hannestad gave a great presentation on the new NFPA 232
Standard and the NARA Guidelines and what it will mean to records storage
companies. Interestingly enough, there were 20 representatives from
independent records storage companies and after hearing Mr. Hannestad's
presentation, everyone was in favor of the new standards.

Certainly, there will be greater protection and in a world where arson is
the leading cause of catastrophic fire, it is time for enhanced standards.

Those fighting the new standards have pushed for an immediate review in the
new standard even though it would typically go two years without review. We
meet in Phoenix at the end of February and we'll see who wins. Interestingly
enough, I am not aware of one real records manager being on the committee.

What does this say about ARMA? We don't speak out, as an organization, when
the biggest records management issue of the century comes about (the
Presidential election), a major rewrite of the dominant records protection
standard is completed and NARA, the Library of Congress, all the major
sprinkler contractors, fire protection engineers and even a lowly vault
salesman contribute time but ARMA has no CRM on the Committee.

What does this say about our organization________________? (fill in the
blank)

At the last meeting, the phrase "useful records" was inserted into NFPA 232
to appease those who feel that business records should be treated with the
same level of fire protection as bundled newspapers or refuse plastics. But
the standard went on to say that records of more permanent or long term
value would require a higher level of protection. But then those willing to
accept a category of "useful" realized that no one is going to pay 25 per
box for something they basically won't miss if it burns up. Then the
campaign was one to try to weaken or rewrite the standard.

In the battle to save the Galaxy, no Jeddi Records Managers or CRM's were
found to stand up to the Dark Side.

............But if you want to help, a major issue will be whether
compartmentalization is effective. If you know of: 1) fires that were
stopped at the first fire wall and damage limited to that chamber versus,
2) fires that rampaged through an open space warehouse destroying virtually
everything in the space, email me names, dates, damage numbers, etc. for the
coming battle.

Here is an interesting fact, if a fire burns hot in a non-compartmentalized
space the sprinklers throughout that space are triggered by 165 F heat (one
version of detector) thus soaking down all of the boxes. Recovery must now
be done on all boxes in the space even if the fire only raged in one area
but spread the heat across the ceiling triggering all the heads.

In a compartmentalized space, the heat is held in the one bay. Only those
records are burned and/or soaked with water. The other two bays of the
building would not have water or flame danger. I had never realized this
before. (This is anecdotal experience is from an actual fire disaster that
occurred. )
____________  ____________  _____________ _____________ ___________
If you want to weigh in electronically, send me an email with the subject
"The NFPA 232 Standard should be....."

In the body simply copy one of these phrases over your name and job
description and an email address.

1) Records centers should be designed to protect business records and
archives from destruction by using a level of fire protection above and
beyond that of commodities.

2) Businesses that lose their information assets are subject to loss of
image, tremendously expensive disaster recovery costs, reduced profitability
and a loss of business focus. Records centers should design their
compartmentalized bays, fire suppression/fire sprinkler systems, and alarm
detection (fire and security) to minimize fire risk and loss to the center.

3) The cost of increasing fire protection and improved construction are not
warranted with redundant or older business records. The trend to making  a
stronger the standard should be more carefully considered.

4) I am against any new costs for upgrading records centers.

I will present them at the meeting for discussion and a cross section of
where Records Manager weigh in on this issue.


--
FIRELOCK Fireproof Modular Vaults
Hugh Smith at (610) 756-4440
Kutztown, Pennsylvania
See our Web Site at WWW.FIRELOCK.COM