> From:    Lawrence Medina <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Where do you stand on the issue of...
> I hope everyone realizes the RARE opportunity we're being provided
> here, to have a voice at this meeting related to this NFPA standard.
> While this document relates to commercial record centers and not
> private entities where companies store and manage their own records,
> the standard provides a series of guidelines that are key to the
> proper design of a record center.

I just want to make this one correction, under the current standard if you
are building a records storage facility of over 50,000 cubic feet of records
storage this standard would affect the design guidelines. The changes from
the old standard are minimal until you get into the 250,000 cubic foot size.

I would like to hear exactly what role ARMA hopes to play in this? I am
amazed that on something as important as this, to the profession, that ARMA
and Diane have not been very vocal in letting us all know where they stand.
From the Records Management community we hear that we want safer records
centers, to mitigate risks, to use "Prudent Man" design planning and I think
we could expect to see ARMA show up and fight to make the records centers

Those who say, "we don't need more safety in our records centers", "just
vault everything that is important, vital, permanent or historical" based on
the premise this will safe money are wrong! Building huge vaults will be
expensive! I think we all agree that I can speak to that issue.

To say the records center can be designed with minimal safety because
everything in there is of minimal importance, denies the whole issue of
different classifications of records. Management doesn't even know what is
vital most of the time. Historical records have to survive for a period of
years to become historical. Do courts say "Oh, I'm sorry, your records were
burned up in a fire of suspicious origin. Well go ahead and forget this
lawsuit. We'll start again when you have new records." More likely, they say
"You don't have the records requested in discovery! I hold you in contempt
of court and award for the plaintiff!"

Will ARMA say that no one was hurt by the Iron Mountain, Diversified and
Recall Fires in 1997? That prudent expenditures to minimize losses in
records center fires is a waste of money? We all want to know??

Since 1997, a whole new type of record center is emerging with better
sprinkler technology, compartmentalization into bays less than 250,000 cubic
feet of records. (That is bays of 15,000 to 20,000 square feet per room
depending on whether your ceilings are 15' or 20' high.) Fire protection
professionals have been guiding many records center owners into a much more
fire safe and secure facility type. Would you spend 1% more on a building to
achieve a 50% reduction in risk.

I for one feel that the day of slumlord records centers should end. Only a
few are left out there and all the new ones I see are great. Lets not turn
back the clock here. NFPA 232 - 2000 was a good first step. Let's keep
improving the fire and physical security of the documents that are the
lifeblood of the American System of Business. (Imagine America the Beautiful
playing in the background. Or hum it with me.....mmm  mmm mmm for spacious
skies mmm )

Also where is the ARMA Board? How about speaking up here? Also Larry
Eiring's voice should be heard here? I think the membership should know
where their management group is on this issue.

I thank all those who sent me their opinion surveys and encourage you to
send them to Diane so she will go into the meeting armed with the
information which reflects what you expect out of a records center design
whether it be yours or the one your offsite storage company provides for
your documents.
FIRELOCK Fireproof Modular Vaults
Hugh Smith at (610) 756-4440
Kutztown, Pennsylvania
See our Web Site at WWW.FIRELOCK.COM

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