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Old January 30th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #1
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Do you keep your tapes in a fire proof Box?

I purchased a fire proof box to help secure my mini dv tapes in case of a fire. When I opened the box the instructions indicated that part of what makes these boxes work is the fact that they retain moisture. I'm thinking that this cant be good for tapes. I also learned that there are specific fire boxes that should be used for tapes and certain other types of meda, because some boxes arent designed to protect tapes. Just thought I would share this information so that theres no false sense of security if you using the wrong type of fire proof box.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 06:37 PM   #2
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If you take a look at what makes a Firebroof box "fireproof", it's that it won't let the interior temperature rise above 451 fahrenheit, the temperature at which paper will combust for a certain period of time. This is SIGNIFICANTLY above the temperature that is required to destroy tape or at least render the information contained therein unusable.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 07:41 PM   #3
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Yeah, but depending on where it is in the fire, it may either keep the tapes cool or keep it from being water damaged.

Probably better than nothing.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 07:52 PM   #4
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Not saying it wouldn't buy you time, but hardly the two hours that papers would have. Check out the heat rise charts typically available for the better brands - my dad is a locksmith who sells safes; I've done my research and decided against it. The value to you may vary immensely.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #5
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I'm as eqaully concenred about the fact that the boax hold in moisture as I am about it possibly not protecting the tape in the event of a fire. I'm not sure how much mositure it retains on a daily basis but i, thinksing even a small amount would be bad for a tape. Is htis coorect? It seems like a more feasible option would be to keep extra copies off sit.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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IF you are able, duplicate off site storage will ALWAYS be more secure than any single copy storage.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:48 PM   #7
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At the TV station I used to work at, the tape storage room was kept quite humid. I've never read the recommended humidity level but I assume that this was done intentionally.

If you're concerned about actual wetness, dunno what to tell you.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:22 PM   #8
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Interesting - the libraries (English and French) at the public broadcaster I used to work at were just rooms, adjacent to the newsrooms.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 11:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Interesting - the libraries (English and French) at the public broadcaster I used to work at were just rooms, adjacent to the newsrooms.
That's the easiest and cheapest thing to do.

I didn't mention, this station was in Anchorage, AK. All year, it is generally very dry and even more so in the winter. And, unlike most stations, the <regrettably> former owners were not afraid to spend money if it was needed. The station bills itself as 'Alaska's News Source' and having reliable access to file footage is considered mandatory.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 12:09 PM   #10
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This is one reason I use optical instead of tape. No issue with humidity or water. You can store them in water if you want. And yes, I keep my opticals in a fireproof box. My building also has a sprinkler system, and if I really wanted to be careful with a set of data, I'd just take it in the halon protected room.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 12:09 PM   #11
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if I really wanted to be careful with a set of data, I'd just take it in the halon protected room.
Not jealous at all... nope...
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:01 PM   #12
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The ordinary fire-safes for protecting paper are pretty much *guaranteed* to ruin magnetic and optical media. They work by releasing moisture from the walls as they're heated up. The temperatures and moisture within these safes are designed to protect paper only.

You need a safe specifically designed to protect CD\DVD and magnetic tape. They are designed to keep the interior temperature below 125F. Obviously that makes them more expensive, so those cheapie $40 fire safes are Wal-Mart are useless for tape and DVDs.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:22 PM   #13
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Excellent point Chris...

This is the one I have: FireKing Office Products - Files, Safes, Storage Cabinets

Cost is about $400. Great peace of mind.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 08:03 PM   #14
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After 46 years with all grades of mag tape I can say .. recorded magnetic tape needs to be stored in a medium temp and humidity stable enclosure with a few packets of fresh silicagel.

But the best defence is a set of backups kept current and off site.
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