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Tips > Packing Tips > Medical, Legal and Financial Data

Medical, Legal and Financial Data

Self-storage units provide a convenient way to store corporate documentation, but keeping these records secure requires diligence. Long-term storage of sensitive data such as protected health information or audit compliance documentation should be included in a risk prevention plan for your business. As you evaluate self-storage facilities for security services and features, consider the following guidance:

Security Features at Self-Storage Facilities
  • Confirm what hours you will have access to the storage unit – or speak with your facility manager about setting specific hours for access
  • Gated keypad entry systems track traffic in and out
  • Perimeter fencing should surround the entire facility - check it for condition
  • Camera range and the number of security cameras varies between facilities, as does the use of Digital Video Recorders instead of videotape
  • Lighting should be maintained throughout the facility, and all areas should be illuminated well
  • Some facilities have on-site manager(s) for additional oversight 
  • Offices are alarmed and secured
  • The facility manager will be able to provide history of environmental or theft losses, and may have rapport with the neighborhood and local police
  • Although facilities’ insurance policies cover property stored in units (with the exception of vehicles), you will be expected to provide proof of insurance as well. Many storage facilities also offer this service.
  • Climate control (available at some facilities) is important for loss prevention; central air and heat maintain a temperature between 50 and 80 degrees, protecting paper and media against damage from extreme temperatures and humidity.

Proper Packing of Documentation and Data

  • Make multiple backups of all stored documents and keep them in a separate location
  • Consider using locked containers such as file cabinets or fire safes
  • Use airtight packaging to prevent mildew or water damage
  • Consider storing all documentation on password-protected CD or DVD; anti-static packaging for videotapes, DVDs and CDs is recommended to prevent data loss
  • Use racking systems or pallets to keep boxes off floor and organized
  • Cover boxes with a tarp
  • Fill boxes, even if just with packing material – loosely packed materials can shift during transport and lifting; do not use newspaper, as the print can transfer
  • Packed boxes should weigh no more than 30-50 lbs. for safe lifting
  • Pack for longer than you plan to store – just in case\
  • When packing files, place binders in between groupings to lend sturdiness
  • Label boxes clearly and carefully with waterproof labels / markers
  • Stack boxes with oldest information at the bottom in the back

Facility managers work with both local clients and national accounts, and are available to verify and document security features. They can be useful assets in establishing risk management plans regarding self storage.