Where Not to Store Your Documents and Why

Your document inventory includes financial records, personal client data, and confidential employee files. As a result, it’s important have a safe and secure storage solution for them. Here’s where not to store your documents and why:

Your Office

When looking for a document storage solution, your office may seem like a logical solution. But even documents stored under your own roof are susceptible to unauthorized access. A single dishonest or disgruntled employee can make off with a treasure trove of confidential client files or private corporate information. To eliminate the threat of insider theft, security experts recommend storing sensitive documents in a secure offsite location.


If you’re running out of space to store your documents, you may be tempted to use your basement as a de facto filing room. But no matter how desperate you are for space, a basement should be the last place you store your documents. Situated underground, a basement is especially prone to floods, and the presence of plumbing pipes compounds the risk of water damage to your files.

A dark and damp basement environment also makes for a prime habitat for critters and pests that can literally devour your business records. Imagine the stress of finding a nest of rodents in your box of documents! And if you’re using your basement to store flammable and combustible materials, then you’re also exposing your files to a fire hazard. A critical component of records storage is disaster recovery, but if your documents are stored in a basement, you’re increasing their exposure to disaster rather than minimizing it.

Self Storage Units

Many self storage providers actively market to the business community, advertising self storage as a secure and convenient records storage option. But if you’re concerned about protecting the confidentiality of your documents and physically preserving them throughout their lifecycle, a self storage facility isn’t the safest and most secure option. There are several risks inherent in storing your documents in a self-storage unit.

First, security is lacking in a self-storage facility. As a tenant, it’s your individual responsibility to buy a lock for your unit and make sure it’s locked when you leave. The only thing protecting your client files, personnel records and financial documents from theft is a roll-up garage door and a padlock. In contrast, a commercial records center is equipped with comprehensive security systems, including:

  • Digital surveillance
  • Continuous access monitoring
  • State-of-the-art intrusion protection technology

Second, just as you’re responsible for protecting your documents while storing them at a self storage facility, it’s also your job to keep them organized. This is especially challenging when you have a unit crammed with boxes of records stacked on top of each other. Instead, your records should be stored in a facility that keeps them organized in accordance with your retention obligations.

Third, when you store your documents at a self-storage facility, you’re responsible for retrieving them when they’re needed. Without a proper inventory management system, finding and retrieving important files can take hours, compounding your administrative costs. But with a records storage service, records management professionals retrieve and deliver your files, saving your business valuable time and money.

Where and how you store your business documents impacts your business in both large and small ways. Avoid the areas we’ve mentioned above and choose a commercial records center to ensure privacy protection and efficient information access for your organization.

Pacific Records Management provides records storage and management solutions for businesses throughout Fresno, Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, and Napa and Solano Counties. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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