DEVON-L ArchivesArchiver > DEVON > 1999-08 > 0935940794
From: "Keith Edwards" <>
Subject: Don't put irrreplacable documents in the fridge
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 11:33:14 -0400
As an insurance adjuster who deals with fire claims I suggest the
1. If you want to be certain an original document survives a fire don't
count on putting things in freezers or fridge's. They will not survive a
2. If you can afford it, a good fire rated file cabinet is the answer - even
in a major fire I have found that documents have survived with at most some
charring on the outer edges.
3. There are companies that offer secure storage of documents in fireproof
cabinets - but they may be geared more to the business market and not for
the person who wants to store a handful of personal documents.
4. For computer records - make regular back-ups and store off-site. Make
sure that these back-ups are tested once in a while so that you know the
disks are readable. Copies on CD-ROM are now quite affordable and
available - they offer more security than a floppy disk which could be
damaged more easily. Find a service company that can scan the originals and
put them into a format such as Acrobat. This allows the document to be seen
as facsimile of the original and allows you to word search [if that's
5. If records become wet for some reason - immediately place sheets of plain
white paper towel between each document and spread them out on the floor.
Newspapers work well in place of paper towel. Let them air dry. In the
alternative if you have the facilities available locally and can afford it a
company specialising in fire restoration can put you in touch with
specialist document drying facilities. Typically they freeze the documents
to preserve them from mould etc. They then put them into a freeze-drying
chamber where the moisture is drawn off.
Hope all that helps you plan your record preservation strategies.
Keith Edwards FCILA, CLA, FUEDI-ELAE
McLarens Toplis Canada - Toronto HQ
Voice 416.252.4439 xt 306
Maintain thine airspeed, lest the ground arise and smite thee.
From: Shirlea Smith & Jerry Messmer <>
Date: 28-Aug-1999 23:41
Subject: Backups/irreplacable documents
>Thanks to frequent warnings on this lists, I had copied the contents of my
>various files onto floppy disks.
>Last week when forest fire threatened our community (it came to within 3
>miles of my house) I just threw the floppies into my briefcase.
>It set me to wondering, though, about the original documents I have in the
>house--one suggestion has been to keep them sealed in ziplock bags in the
>freezer. Also it has caused me to consider getting not only an off-site
>but out-of-town storage place for backup discs and photocopies of
>documents. With this forest fire, we were on alert for about half an hour
>before it became clear that we wouldn't have to evacuate. With a house
>fire, you wouldn't get that kind of warning.
>Hope my experience helps somebody else
|Don't put irrreplacable documents in the fridge by "Keith Edwards" <>|