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By Thomas Reed

Storing confidential records in a self-storage

unit is an accident waiting to happen. There are just too many uncontrollable factors that impact business productivity and jeopardize client privacy. Here are five good reasons to pull your records out of self-storage:

1. Information Security Not knowing your neighbour is a big problem with self-storage. The person renting the unit next to yours may be storing hazardous and combustible items or could be a criminal hoping to steal your documents. Unfortunately, self-storage facilities are particularly vulnerable to thefts like this. Recently, thieves in Bellevue, Washington broke into 63 storage units at three different locations. Fortunately, you have a choice. A top-notch commercial records center offers unparalleled security. These facilities are built exclusively for the storage of paper documents and no hazardous and combustible items are allowed inside. Only screened and background-checked records management professionals have unlimited access to the facility. A three-point security system, a person trap entrance system, and internal and external surveillance keep the bad guys out. 2. Enhanced Disaster Protection Protecting your business records from fires, floods, and natural disasters is just as important as safeguarding them from unauthorized access, but self-storage units fall short in the disaster protection category. Most facilities lack the structural integrity to withstand extreme weather conditions, and corrugated roll-up doors let in moisture that promotes mold growth, posing a major risk to paper files. A records center has to meet strict fire protection and building standards, offering enhanced disaster protection. The building is designed for structural integrity to withstand extreme weather. Comprehensive fire suppression systems protect the endless rows of documents from fire and smoke. In-rack sprinklers provide rapid fire suppression in document storage areas, so even hard-to-reach areas are safeguarded. Media vaults also employ a dry fire suppression system that pulls the oxygen out of the room to prevent water damage to data storage devices. 3. Turnkey Retention Management Knowing how long keep your documents—and when to destroy them—is critical for privacy protection and legal compliance. Unfortunately, a self storage unit places the burden of managing and destroying documents all on your shoulders. With commercial records storage, you get a turnkey retention management solution. Your records are tracked with barcode technology and entered into an online database that lets you view, sort and adjust retention and disposition schedules as needed. You will know when records are nearing the end of their lifecycle and have the option of having them professionally destroyed. 4. Cost Savings Storing your records offsite is cheaper than storing them in-house—except when you use self-storage. You always end up paying for space you don’t use. At a records center, you only pay for the boxes you store, not the extra space you can’t use. Plus, your documents are stored in a high-bay facility where storage density is maximized, lowering your cost. 5. Optimized Efficiency and Convenience Think self-storage is convenient? Think again. Every time a file is needed, you have to drop what you’re doing, drive to your unit, and dig through stacks of boxes. Think of the dangers this could pose, and the worker’s comp liability, if a box should fall on someone, if there is a back injury, or even if there is an auto accident travelling to or from the unit. Imagine if you could order that file online and have it hand-delivered or sent electronically instead. That’s what you get with a records storage service. Luckily, pulling your documents out of self-storage is easy. We will pick the boxes up at your unit and transfer them to a records center walking you through every step on the way! Thomas Reed

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