Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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- The building shall be of sound construction and shall be well-maintained, with a roof which is free of leaks.
- If the facility is located off-site (away from the building where the records are ordinarily maintained and used), and if part of the structure is used for other purposes, a fire wall shall separate the records area from any area which might present a hazard to the records.
- It shall be kept clean to avoid accumulations of dust and dirt.
- If the facility is not climate-controlled, the records storage area shall be well-ventilated and shall not be subject to rapid and extreme fluctuations of temperature and humidity (more than ± 40o or 40% within 24 hours).
- It shall be free of vermin and shall have a pest control program to guard against insects and rodents.
- It shall be well-lighted, but records shall not be exposed to direct sunlight.
- Records shall be protected from the threat of damage caused by smoking, eating and drinking.
- Records shall be placed a minimum of three inches from the floor on sturdy, well-supported shelving units or file cabinets. Unbound inactive records shall be stored in file cabinets or in closed containers placed on shelves.
- Records shall not be placed in areas subject to flooding or excessive moisture. Nor shall they be placed in areas with exposed water or steam pipes subject to leaking or in areas that are adjacent to furnaces or boilers unless separated by a four-hour fire wall.
- The facility shall not be located in any area where the risk of natural and man-made disasters pose a significant threat to the facility and its contents. It shall be located sufficiently separate from external hazards to ensure a high degree of safety from such occurrences as fire and flood.
- It shall be located within the coverage area of a fire station and near a regularly patrolled police route.
- It shall be secured at all times and, in the case of an off-site storage facility, if it is not normally open to the public, access shall be restricted to authorized persons.
- It shall have an operational fire detection mechanism. In an off-site, unstaffed facility, the fire detection mechanism shall have an external audible alarm.
- It shall contain an adequate supply (one or more) of well-distributed portable fire extinguishers suitable for extinguishing fires in all record materials stored.
Prepared by the Office of the Public Records Administrator, Connecticut State Library, 12-96.
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