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Posted in Evidence Storage Houston on April 1, 2019
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If you've ever walked into a home improvement store then you've witnessed pallet rack shelving units in action. Although these shelves look pretty tough, they don't right off the bat look like they could hold the things they do. The sheer size of many pallets full of product wrapped in saran wrap (or equivalent type of plastic to hold things stacked together) make people wonder if they will fall on top of them! Austin

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When store or business owners choose to install high density filing systems or update their existing file system with a newer one, they're often plagued by worries that their company will suffer while the job is undertaken. These concerns are perfectly normal and common among many business operators looking for filing improvements or mail room furniture updates.

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Medical Developing a UL 2050 RoomAnyone already in the security business knows that getting a certificate from Underwriters Laboratories is no small task. On the contrary, getting a facility "certificated" is a lengthy and labyrinthine process that requires achieving a host of the highest standards and ongoing inspections to maintain them.That said, it is far from impossible. Hundreds of security companies are certificated nation-wide and thousands of UL 2050 certificated facilities are in operation.This article is primarily meant to assist those businesses looking to develop a UL 2050 room by compiling all of the necessary information in a single place. However, those who already own and operate these secure facilities, but are looking to change their security company, can also benefit.A Brief History of UL 2050In 1993, the United States Department of Defense developed a set of standards and guidelines for securing its classified material, information, and equipment to be developed, stored, or maintained by a government contractor. Specifically, these standards were laid out in something called the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual or NISPOM. This meant that in order to do work for the DOD, every contractor's facility needed to meet these particular standards and procedures.Around the same time, an independent organization called Underwriters Laboratories developed a set of standards that would meet and often surpass the standards laid out in the NISPOM. The result was Underwriters Laboratories 2050 or UL 2050.2050 has no particular meaning except it's how UL refers to this specific level of security. The DOD recognizes UL's meticulous standards and UL, in turn, is authorized to certify security companies to create, monitor, and inspect Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities or SCIFs.SCIFs and Who Uses ThemAt it's core, a SCIF is any room or facility that will be used to research, manufacture, store, or support any projects, information, equipment, or personnel for any branch of the Armed Services or other agencies. Usually they imply classified information or materials, but while this may conjure images straight out of James Bond, these can be anything from a computer or chemical lab to warehouses and woodshops.These SCIFs are almost always used by government contractors or those hoping to become one by bidding on military and government projects. Indeed, UL 2050 is the standard for the Department of Defense. Any company looking to work with the DOD, the Armed Services, or any of the other twenty-two government agencies must have a UL 2050 certified SCIF. Since these contracts are far-reaching and often insulated by a national budget, the demand for UL 2050 certified SCIFs typically remains fairly constant even in times of economic downturn.Getting a Business UL 2050 CertifiedFirstly, it isn't a business or company that gets UL 2050 certified, but rather a specific room or facility. UL 2050 means that the SCIF has been constructed and inspected to meet UL specifications that take as their basis the DOD's NISPOM. Whether it's one or one hundred, this must be done separately for each SCIF.However, and this is key, it is not UL that issues the certificate. Underwriters Laboratories deals directly with specific security companies. Each security company goes through a rigorous process of validation and certification to achieve what UL calls "CRZH" certification. CRZH doesn't stand for anything, but refers only to the code UL assigns to this type of certificate.The security company, by virtue of its CRZH certification, is authorized to consult, construct, inspect, monitor and certify a SCIF within a specified radius of about a four-hour response time, or 200 miles. It is the security company that sponsors a facility for certification and issues the UL 2050 certificate.The First StepThe very first step toward UL 2050 certification is to contact a CRZH certified security company. UL maintains a directory of such companies on their website. Simply, type in your location information and "CRZH" into the "UL Category Code" and you will be given a list of all certified companies in your area. Keep the scope of the search broad by using only state or country information. This will return more results that may apply to you in a 200-mile radius.Once you contact the security company, negotiations begin for the kind of SCIF you need for what you're looking to do. Typically, this will start with an inspection of the proposed site and then proceed to what systems and changes will need to be implemented.It is impossible to overestimate the importance of this security company. A SCIF must be constructed according to precise standards. Each step of construction, programming, electronics, and monitoring must be done by companies with their own particular levels of certification and quality. A CRZH security company is an invaluable resource for finding trusted companies from builders to alarm monitors.Consulting a CRZH certificated security company as early as possible allows a business to develop realistic budgets and determine competitive bids for government contracts.Cloud of MysteryAnyone looking to develop their first SCIF may be put off by how unclear the public information is. Cost, for example, is rarely discussed in any finite terms until well into the process. The reason, simply, is that the cost must be determined on a case-by-case basis according to what changes need to be made to meet UL 2050 standards.Similarly, the standards themselves, described in a single UL publication, are one of the most highly controlled documents in the nation. Due to the level of security concerned, a copy can only be issued when a security company registers with UL. Even then it will only be given to a designated employee that is verified by address and contact information and the copy he or she receives is individually numbered and cataloged. Needless to say, the consequences of duplicating or leaking the security standards of every DOD and Armed Services project in the country are dire indeed.After Online and Long-TermOnce the room is developed, the security company is responsible for inspecting and monitoring the facility to ensure it meets and maintains UL 2050 standards. Underwriters Laboratories will execute their own inspection of each aspect of the facility. After the facility has been approved, the security company is authorized to issue an official UL 2050 certificate.This certificate is a kind of bond ensuring that the facility will operate by UL 2050 standards and that the security company issuing the certificate will facilitate and ensure that level of operation. To do so, the security company will perform periodic inspections of the facility, as will Underwriters Laboratories. These inspections are often unannounced and will occur at least once a year by both organizations.Consequently, it is critical to have a security company you trust. Not unlike other services, a good security company should have an extraordinary commitment to quality in installation, service, and response. The stakes, after all, rank into the millions of dollars in government contracts.

Tackling Office Moves

Mail Room Sorters Every organization needs records management and a records management program. After establishing a records management program and appointing a records management officer, a retention/control schedule should be developed. As needs for filing system improvement and development become apparent, the following twelve-step strategy is recommended.   Purge Inactive Files - Remove inactive and duplicate records from your active filing system in order to improve retrieval and access times. In additional to improving response times, your active filing system will require less floor space. Do not dispose of inactive records at this point.   Inventory Records - Conduct a thorough records inventory. An inventory of your records is just as important to your organization as inventorying parts are to a Parts Manager.   The records inventory will help you evaluate labeling standards, the flow of information, and will be necessary if you plan on converting files to a side-tab file system or Records Management Software.   Convert to a Side-Tab Folder System - Traditional drawer cabinets are not space efficient and slow the file retrieval and refilling process. Shelf-based side-tab filing systems require less floorspace and quicker record retrieval. Do some research to see if converting to a shelf-based side-tab filing system is cost justifiable for your organization. Serious consideration should be given to careful planning, cost justifying, and implementing filing systems appropriate for the needed applications.   Evaluate Current Labeling Standards - Evaluate your current file labeling system to determine if changes need to be made to improve the speed and accuracy of filing. For example, a simple color-coded year label can change the laborious project of purging inactive records into a simple task.     Survey your staff and users for their opinions of labeling methods that would make accessing files quicker and easier.   Choose the correct folder - There are many different types of folders to choose from based on activity, number of documents,  and length of time records will be kept in an active status.   Use Indexes or Partitions- Using folders with indexes and partitions will organize and standardize documents in the file. Organized information provides quicker access to the desired documents and to help maintain the integrity of the file.   Invest in an On-Demand Labeling System - On-Demand labeling is an economical way to improve your filing system. On-Demand labeling software allows you to print an one-piece label from an ink jet or laser printer.   Labels are typically 7" to 8" long and can be printed with any type or style of color-coded labels, name and address information, and barcode labels. On-Demand labeling eliminates individual hand-wrapping of color-coded labels and the additional tasks of typing file name labels. On-Demand labeling can produce alphanumeric labels, top-tab and side-tab labels, and different label styles for different departments within your organization.   Standardize - Standardization of filing systems should be a major goal. Standardizing equipment, supplies, software, procedures, and policies results in  economies of scale and uniformity throughout the organization.   Implement Processes - Implement appropriate processes, technology, equipment, and supplies for each filing system application. Converting to open-shelf file shelving, implementing color coding and bar coding, implementing file indexing, file tracking, and a records retention schedule results in a system that can be integrated with other information systems within the organization.   Implement Records Management Software -  An array of quality records management software packages exist for use in augmenting records management programs, systems, and functions. These programs can prepare and maintain records retention/control schedules, track files and boxes in the office to in storage, and help manage retention of records.   Develop a Records Management Manual - Every organization needs a records management manual. The manual should be a reference guide for your organization and a training tool for new personnel. The manual should provide an explanation of every filing system in your organization including detailed filing procedures. Build in a section on frequently asked questions that can be easily developed from questions asked by members or your organization. Considering complimenting your manual with videos to make learning easy.   Report Savings/Accomplishments - Prepare an annual report (at least) detailing savings. Savings report should include details space saved, personnel savings due to converting to a file system that provides more efficient access. High Density Mobile Filing Systems

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