Protecting Essential (Vital) Records


Safeguarding essential records includes protecting them against the ordinary hazards of fire, water, mildew, light, dust, insects, rodents, chemicals and their fumes, and excessive humidity. In addition, essential records must be protected against human hazards such as theft, misplacement, and unauthorized access. Disaster such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, windstorms, explosions, bombings, nuclear fallout and radiation must also be considered.

Essential records must be protected not only from destruction, but also from loss of legibility to the extent that the records' legality may be questioned. Although all hazards cannot be eliminated, the objective is to reduce the hazards to an acceptable minimum.

Two methods of protecting essential records:

Sending copies of vital records to locations other than those where the originals are housed.

The preparation of additional copies of a record. The process includes microfilm, magnetic tape, punched cards, photocopying, etc.