Protecting Your Sensitive Company Documents in Case of Natural Disaster

Published On Jun 21, 2013 | By France Abaricia | Guest-Posts

A lot of documents are generated everyday even by a small business. There are invoices, receipts, delivery notes and others documents that come in and go out daily. There are also tax returns forms and client contracts. These documents are referred to from to time and it is important that they are well preserved. Even you’re very important digital document copies, sales presentations, excel files, digital financial files need safekeeping with the computer crashes become another possible business crippling event.

Paper tends to become brittle and starts to fade so documents need to be kept in protective files. They also need to be protected from accidents and natural disasters that can destroy the important information on them. The best way to protect them is by putting the documents in protective filing cabinets. You may also have a safe where you store important documents like ownership deed, marriage certificate, academic certificates and others. Otherwise you will end up trying to preserve documents the old fashion way.

Standards, Ratings and Classifications

The best ones must meet certain standards. One is that they must be fireproof so that in the event of a fire, what you have stored in the safe will not be charred. They must also be completely watertight to prevent water damage.

A safe that offers maximum security must also be impossible to break into. Safes have different ratings and classifications that indicate the level of protection they offer against fire and burglars. Apart from performance, labeling and classification of safes is also done according to construction and performance in tests where the safes are exposed to fire and burglary attempts.

United Laboratories or UL is the leading independent fire and burglary testing agency. Mercury and Intertek-ETL are two other top companies that conduct independent fire testing. Safes that carry labels such as UL TL 15 and/or TL30 offer maximum security. They have been certified to be able to withstand break-in attempts using tools like sledge hammers, power saws and drills, carbide disc cutters and others.

Another check to make when buying a safe is the fire certificate. A certificate is issued after UL has carried out tests to establish the maximum temperature that a safe can withstand on the inside. This temperature is indicated on the UL label. For instance Class 350 indicates the maximum temperature that the interior of a safe can withstand is 350°F.

Size is another consideration that will need to be made when choosing a filing cabinet or safe. This will depend on what the safe will hold and how much you have to store. Larger companies will require larger filing cabinets and more of them compared to smaller businesses.

Data and Media Storage

There are also data and media safes that keep electronic media safe from fire and theft. Thanks to technological advances, a lot of documents are exchanged and stored electronically such on flash disks and CDs. The items are also kept safe from heat and moisture which they need because they are sensitive. Standard safes and fire resistant cabinets remain at temperatures of 350 degrees but humidity is not controlled. Media safes are constructed to maintain temperatures that do not exceed 125 degrees and also keep humidity levels below 80%.

Since a lot of offices are already equipped with an Ethernet virtual connection they should feel comfortable storing their documents in the cloud. This keeps virtual documents secure as the data is encrypted with a key that only your company is able to use. Remote storage is safe, offsite and secure.

There are also depository safes. They are important for a business that receives cash payments everyday that perhaps goes out to the bank the following day. There are those that can be loaded from the top, back or front and that have or do not have internal lockers. There is also a choice of digital or traditional locks. If such a safe will be used by more than user such as an accountant and the business owner or manager and it is necessary to control and audit access, there are depository safes that have electronic access control systems. It is also possible to have these safes custom made so that they can also have higher ratings.