Climate change may increase wildfires by 600%
by Bob Trench
How to keep your valuables safe from fires
"Higher temperatures draw moisture out of live and dead trees and brush, making them more flammable. The heat also can alter precipitation, as well as shift spring thaw earlier, lengthening the fire season. A one degree Celsius climb in average global temperature could cause the median area burned annually by wildfires in parts of the American West to increase up to sixfold." (scientificamerican.com)
Recovery, resilience and continuity are the words used in business today to describe how we mitigate our technology dependence and vulnerabilities in a disaster event. Whether in the heavily regulated sectors of finance and healthcare, or a business that is aware of the fiscal advantages of having a "safe-haven" for data and records, keeping data safe in the occurrence of an event, is the cornerstone of best practice.
With archived data, conditions of safety have to be addressed and include data in the event of vandalism, natural disaster, system failure or fire. Secure warehouse storage is not always enough assurance that your data is invulnerable. Whether by regulation or policy, if you have to retain these records for long periods, investing in a media safe may be your best bet to ensure your data is safe and secure.
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a fireproof safe to make sure you are getting the protection that you require for either documents or digital based media. These include:
- Type of media to be stored
- UL Rating (Underwriters Laboratories tested and verified)
- Size or volume needed
In the digital storage world, the type of media is the important first factor to determine your protection needs. All media has its "breaking point" or failure point when it comes to heat. This will determine the fire rating needed. Next would be the physical size or volume required to store the media.
The UL Rating is an important measure of the effectiveness of the protection. Actual testing of the safe has been performed to obtain that rating and you can rest assured that the performance has been verified. Remember, knowing what you are going to store is important to choosing the correct level of protection. Underwriters Laboratories uses three different listings to evaluate records protection equipment:
- Class 350-rated file cabinets and safes protect paper products or other documents
- Class 125-rated data safes protect digital media
This is important as media safe with a UL125 Rating keeps the internal temperature below 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.67 degrees Celsius) A fireproof document safe keeps the internal temperature below 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176.7 degrees Celsius). You should know that in only 3-1/2 minutes, the heat from a house fire can reach over 1100 degrees Fahrenheit and top 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. Office fires can actually reach 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.
Physical storage needs will dictate the size of the safe needed to accomplish the task of protecting the media. This may be the most important decision to make when purchasing a media safe. You need to create these requirements for what your media needs now and what you will need going forward. Having enough space upfront can save you money going forward.
Using this criteria to make a smart decision on a fireproof safe purchase, will help you meet your recovery, regulatory and business objectives.
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