Just Imagine You Receive A Request To View Records Under The Freedom Of Information Act And Your Records Were Stored Like Those In Pictures You Just Saw So how should we store our records?
What Is The Ideal Temperature & Humidity For Records Storage? The ideal temperature and humidity for records storage is 64 degrees Fahrenheit with a variance of only 3 degrees in a 30 day period and a humidity of 40% plus or minus 3% in a 30 day period
Blueprints Blueprints can fade rapidly if exposed to office lights. If at all possible store flat or vertically in specially designed map/blueprint cabinets.
Temperature and Humidity Large swings in temperature and humidity can take years off the life of your records. So if you cannot store your records in a room with the ideal conditions, at least try to keep the temperature and humidity stable.
Effects of Humidity High humidity can cause mold spores to activate; hot and dry conditions can result in brittle documents.
Tips on Records Storage Take pro-active measures to prevent future damages to your records:
Storage of Records in Basements If you must store records in a basement that might have seepage, place the records in boxes on shelves or on pallets if possible.
Storing Records on Pallets Plastic pallets are preferable; however, sometimes you can find free wooden pallets that can be covered with inexpensive plastic sheeting.
Storage of Records on Basement Floors If you cannot afford pallets or shelving units that would keep records off of a damp floor, loosely wrap the outside of the boxes with clear plastic. If the boxes do get wet, take the records out of the damp boxes as soon as possible.
Chemicals & Hazardous Materials Never store records near hazardous chemicals or flammable materials, that if spilled would stain or otherwise damage your records.
Records Storage Attics can easily reach a temperature of 100 degrees in the summer months in Illinois. If at all possible store records in another location. Also, attics frequently have mice and sometimes bird droppings.
Records Storage If records are stored in areas where the roof leaks on occasion, cover the tops of the boxes or filing cabinets with plastic. If at all possible do not store records near water heaters.
What Is A Good Storage Box Size? A box that will hold approximately 1 cubic foot of records is ideal. Typical box dimensions of a 1 cubic foot box are: 15" x 12" x 10". Boxes with lids and cut- outs for handles are preferred.
Storing Records In Cubic Foot Size Boxes Legal size documents can be filed upright alongside the 15" side of the box Letter-size documents can be filed upright along the 12" side of the box.
Where Can I Buy The 1 Cu. Ft. Boxes? Local Government Agencies may purchase the 1 cubic feet boxes from the Illinois Department of Corrections, Division of Industries http://www.idoc.state.il.us/ (click on the link for Industries)http://www.idoc.state.il.us/
Buying 1 Cu. Ft. Boxes Under the State Purchasing Act and the Illinois Municipal Code, purchases from Illinois Correctional Industries may be made without obtaining competitive bids. All Industries' products may be purchased using a State of Illinois Order For Delivery Form. The form is o n the Department of Corrections website in Microsoft Word and in Adobe Acrobat.
Storing Heavier Materials Materials of lesser dimensions such as 5" x 8" or 4" x 6" cards and microfilm reels can also be stored in the standard 1 cu. ft. storage box Be careful not to fill it above the handles when packing microfilm or heavier materials.
The Importance Of A Good Box Label Record Series Title Beginning & Ending Dates Box Content List Disposal Date Local Records Commission Application # & Item # For the Series
Where Is The Best Place For The Box Label? It is important to place the box labels on the end, so that they can be read when stacked instead of on the lid or the wider side of the box.
Confidential Records Information security is not limited to paper documents. When disposing of records which could be used for identity theft or violate privacy laws use a cross- cut multi-media shredder which can shred cd’s, floppy disks, and paper or you might opt to incinerate if there are no city ordinances restricting such.
Shredders The single greatest deterrent to identity theft is probably a shredder. There are now some inexpensive shredders out on the market, that will put multiple holes into cd’s that need to be disposed of.
CONFIDENTIAL RECORDS Whenever possible store in a locked room or cabinet.
Electronic Records Protect your computer records – i.e. with firewalls, anti-spy software, passwords etc. Store back up records off-site. Could someone use a thumb drive to copy records off of the computer you have available to the public?
Electronic Records Storage Take care with portable devices such as “Blackberries” If found could someone hack into your system or gain confidential company information.
Electronic Records Storage Do not leave cd’s, thumb drives, or other record media with confidential information where they could easily be stolen.
McAfee and Carnegie Mellon University Study Lost and stolen mobile devices are seen as the greatest security concern, with 40 percent of organizations having devices lost or stolen, with half of those containing critical business data. Fewer than half of device users back up their mobile data more frequently than on a weekly basis. Half of device users keep passwords, PIN codes or credit card details on mobile devices.