Documents…they are part of our every-day life. Like it or not, we deal with documents constantly. In fact, many businesses are required by law to retain certain documents.
If you are a business owner or in charge of document retention for your company or organization, it is important to have a recovery plan in place. What will you do if your documents are damaged? What you are able to discard and when depends on your type of business and applicable retention laws.
Check out this paper on document retention created by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
What questions should you consider when developing a document retention plan?
1. Can damaged documents be destroyed?
Damaged documents may be tricky to destroy. Check out our Secure Document Destruction blog for information on damaged documents and destruction. Secure destruction will protect you and your company from potential litigation. We have all heard horror stories about what happens when companies do not dispose of records properly…
2. What happens if documents get wet?
Water is the number one type of damage we see with documents. This likely because water can be so damaging to paper. Water can be from broken pipes, sewage backups, flooding and building envelope failure. Remember, wet documents become moldy documents if treatment is not sought. Mold needs food to survive and paper is a great source for growth. If you continue to store wet documents in your facility, you are inviting foreign invaders (mold, insects, rodents, etc.) into your place of business.
3. Where will documents be stored?
If you are putting documents in an area that already has some sort of infestation, your entire collection is at risk of contamination. Additionally, your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system could be spreading harmful contaminants throughout the facility. If you choose to outsource storage, most Records Storage Companies can explain how they prevent damage and infestation. While no storage space is perfect, there are common sense ways to minimize your risk.
4. Who will I call?
Selecting a vendor for document recovery is important. If your documents are important enough to recover, security must be a concern. Security occurs at several points as demonstrated below.
Additionally, retention plans must also include recovery plans. Hopefully, you won’t have to use a recovery plan, but it is good to have if you ever need it.
Contact us to learn more about our document recovery services.