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Secure Vault Storage

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Secure Vault Storage

Advantage Document Scanning and Storage Solutions proudly offers a secure vaulting option that provides the ultimate protection for businesses and organizations in Eastern Iowa to ensure the survival and longevity of irreplicable and business critical information. Our UL Certified FireLock Vault is designed to offer protection to the information that is contained in all forms and sizes of data mediums, highly confidential paper records, audio and video tapes, microfilm and microfiche, film negatives, plans, and more against fire, extreme weather, and other disasters. Advantage understands that failing to protect vital records can result in severe legal penalties, litigation, and crippling financial losses due to a lack of business continuity. In an industry landscape that legally and financially holds businesses accountable for protecting and producing their company’s vital records, it must be protected and accessible at a moment’s notice. We know that successfully managing the modern world of risk means organizations must take steps to protect themselves from all potential threats. It doesn’t take a catastrophic fire to destroy computer media and other valued records; fluctuation in temperature or humidity, dust particles, and UV light can be just as dangerous and ultimately as devastating. Our Firelock vault is designed for the express purpose of storing digital and physical media in the most safe and secure environment possible. It was specifically engineered to safeguard media assets from various threats, including fire, water, temperature fluctuations, humidity, and unauthorized access. When you decide to store your data in our vault, we design a program to fit your company’s individual needs. Our vault incorporates a flexible and customizable storage system that can accommodate all types and sizes of data mediums such as backup tapes, hard drives, data cartridges, DVDs, films, and more.

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Firelock Fireproof Vaults utilize NASA technology, including a clean agent fire suppression system approved by the EPA and is explicitly designed to protect your digital and film-based archives. You’ll gain unparalleled security, safety, and protection with the best fire rating available and precise temperature and humidity control. Entry to our secure vault is strictly controlled to protect from unauthorized access. Only Advantage personnel will handle the contents within.

  • Certified
  • Tested
  • Temperature Rated
  • Microfilm & Historical Artifacts
  • Computer & Digital Records
  • Earthquake & Tornado Resistant


Certified and rated by Omega Point Laboratories to meet the ANSI (American National
Standards Institute) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards for the
storage of magnetic and electronic media.


Fire testing utilizing the ASTM E-119 Test Protocol and UL 72 Testing Procedures.

Temperature Rated

NFPA 75 class 350 rating for paper documents, the temperature must not exceed 350°F.
inside the vault, even if the temperature outside the vault reaches 2,000°F. Our vault is
rated as class 350-Four Hour, which means the temperature will remain below the
critical threshold for at least four hours when exposed to the heat of a catastrophic fire.

Microfilm & Historical Artifacts

NFPA 75 class 150 rating for microfilm, computer equipment and historic artifacts. The
Advantage vault is rated as 150-Four-Hour.

Computer & Digital Records

NFPA 75 class 125 rating for computer media, digital records, and sensitive equipment.
For more heat-sensitive assets like electronic equipment, micrographic media and
magnetic media the temperature must not exceed 125°F. even if the temperature
outside the vault reaches 2,000°F.

Earthquake & Tornado Resistant

Construction rated for Zone IV Earthquake resistance and Tornado Rated for 185 mph
wind loads.

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Our Vault Features:

  • Unparalleled Fire Resistance
  • Internal Fire Suppression System
  • Incredible Strength & Structural Integrity
  • Precise Temperature & Humidity Control
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Physical Security
  • Certification Compliance

Unparalleled Fire Resistance

Media storage vaults are constructed with fire-resistant materials and insulation to withstand high temperatures. Our vault panels are constructed from spun ceramic material that is capable of withstanding temperatures well above 2000° F for five hours. It is designed to maintain lower internal temperatures during a fire to protect the sensitive media from heat and potential damage. It also incorporates stand-alone technology that causes the inner vault door to automatically close at the first detection of smoke or heat around the vault. It will automatically seal during any electrical power interruption, activation of the smoke detection unit, and/or activation of the exterior smoke/heat alarm sensors.

Internal Fire Suppression System

The internal fire suppression system in Advantage’s Firelock vault utilizes a waterless, clean fire suppression agent which leaves zero residue in the event of an activation. The 3M Novec 1230 Fire Suppression System we employ alongside of an integrated vapor barrier ensures that the records within the vault are never subjected to moisture or other potentially caustic chemicals. High moisture levels or steam cannot penetrate the vault walls and damage backup tapes, IT equipment, historic documents, business records or other information assets. In addition to the fire vapor barrier and Novec 1230 suppression technology, the system will close the vault doors and seal the fire dampers and cable trays automatically, so the vault contents are never at risk of damage.

Incredible Strength & Structural Integrity

The vault in our facility is Tornado Rated for 185 mph wind loads and the roof deck of the vault is anchored for high winds and water-resistance. As unlikely as it is to happen in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Advantage’s vault is also rated for Zone IV Earthquake resistance.

Precise Temperature & Humidity Control

Advantage’s vault incorporates a sophisticated HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system to regulate temperature and humidity levels within strict tolerances. Our vault can maintain temperature and humidity at any level within the range of 60-70 degrees and 40-50% relative humidity. It was designed to integrate dust and vapor-resistant lighting, humidity control, and fire suppression systems that are not harmful to the contents. This helps prevent the degradation and failure of media due to extreme environmental conditions.

Environmental Monitoring

Advantage DS3’s certified vault features advanced monitoring systems to track temperature, humidity, water leaks, and other environmental factors. This system ensures that the storage conditions remain within acceptable ranges and alert our team to any deviations or issues that may affect the media integrity.

Physical Security

Aside from the strict security policies we have implemented site-wide, our vault’s security policy incorporates additional robust security measures, including access controls, dedicated internal video surveillance, an independent alarm and monitoring system, and restricted entry, to prevent unauthorized access and safeguard the valuable media assets.

Certification Compliance

The FireLock vault at Advantage DS3 undergoes regularly scheduled independent testing and certification processes to validate its performance and compliance with industry standards. These certifications confirm that our vault meets or exceed specific criteria for fire resistance and protection of media.

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What to look for when selecting a records management center with secure vault storage:

Choosing a reliable and trustworthy records management company is essential for ensuring the secure storage of your most critical records, films, and computer media. You must perform adequate due diligence to ensure the vendor you select is both qualified and capable of meeting your organization’s needs. When selecting a records center for secure vault storage, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key things to look for:

  • Compliance with Standards
  • Vault Design & Construction
  • Fire & Environmental Protection
  • Security Measures
  • Access Controls & Audit Trails
  • Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Data Privacy & Confidentiality
  • Document Retrieval & Service Level Agreements
  • Scalability & Flexibility
  • Contract Terms & Pricing
  • Track Record & Reputation

Compliance with Standards

Check if the records center complies with relevant industry standards and certifications, particularly in relation to the testing and certification of their vault. At a minimum, the records center should be able to provide documentation that the vault has a Class 350 four-hour rating for protecting paper documents, a Class 150 four-hour rating for microfilm, computer equipment and historic artifacts, and a Class 125 four-hour rating for computer media, digital records and sensitive server equipment. In addition, look for certifications like NAID AAA for information destruction, or alignment with standards for storage by governing bodies like NARA, or ANSI/AIIM, or ISO certifications for quality management and information security management that demonstrate their commitment to best practices in all areas of managing a record’s lifecycle.

Vault Design & Construction

Examine the facility’s design and construction materials. The records center should be able to provide you with documentation that their vault has been fire tested and that the construction technology that is used by the architect will in fact perform in any type of fire. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has designed many standards on how to protect the vault, the records center, and the building in general. A proper fireproof vault will have a stand-alone technology that causes the vault door to automatically close at the first detection of smoke or heat around the vault and seal the fire dampers and cable trays automatically. The vaulting solutions that provide the most protestation from fire are constructed with rigorously tested materials, such as the ceramic fiber insulating core used in the Advantage Document Scanning and Storage Solutions’ vault. This ensures the vault is dry and inert even after withstanding the 5-hour 2000° F. UL 72 / ASTM E-119 Time Temperature Curve Test. The vault should not only be fireproof, but also be designed to mitigate the risk of extreme weather conditions as well. In the Midwest, it is particularly important that the vault be constructed to withstand the potential of damaging winds from an event like a derecho or tornado. The vault should be rated for 185 mph wind loads. In addition to protection from high winds, ensure that the vault has an integrated vapor barrier to prevent high moisture levels or steam from penetrating the vault so in the event of a disaster the records within the vault are never subjected to moisture or other potentially caustic chemicals.

Fire & Environmental Protection

Ensure that the records center has appropriate fire suppression systems, preferably a gas-based suppression system like the waterless 3M Novec 1230 Fire Suppression System utilized in Advantage’s FireLock vault. This type of fire suppression agent is clean, will not damage the vaults contents, and leaves zero residue in the event of an activation. You should also look for features such as smoke activated hydraulic vault door closers, and specifications including a Class 125 four-hour rating for computer media, digital records, and sensitive server equipment, as well as a Class 350 four-hour rating for protecting paper documents. The facility should also have climate control systems in place to maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels, which are crucial for preserving the integrity of your records. Eliminating steam or high moisture levels is critical to protecting computer media. UL 72 testing specifications mandate that vault and safe environments must not exceed 125°F (52°C) or a relative humidity above 80% for the duration of the rating within the vault chamber.

Security Measures

The primary concern when choosing a records center for secure vault storage is the level of security they provide. Look for facilities that have robust physical security measures such as access controls, surveillance systems, alarms, and 24/7 monitoring. The facility should also have measures in place to prevent unauthorized access, including strict protocols for employee background checks and restricted access to sensitive areas. Advantage Document Scanning & Storage Solutions has maintained comprehensive documentation of our policies, procedures, and practices, and would be happy to share them with you to help you establish your own evaluation criteria. The documentation outlines steps Advantage has taken to ensure all employees are insured and bonded, having completed a background check at the time of employment. It spells out specific policies like all our personnel are randomly drug tested and must assent to a confidentiality agreement as a condition of employment. It also discusses day-to-day operational procedures, like employees being required to wear an Advantage logo on their ID badge, shirt, or jacket, and all visitors at all facilities are required to sign in, issued a visitors pass, and escorted throughout the premises. The records management centers you are evaluating should have similar detailed documentation and provide it to you upon request.

Access Controls & Audit Trails

A reputable records center should have strict access controls and maintain detailed audit trails. Look for facilities that implement authentication mechanisms, such as biometric or card-based access, to ensure that only authorized personnel can access the vault storage area. Additionally, they should have robust tracking systems to monitor and record all activities related to document access and movement.

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity

Consider the location of the records center in relation to your organization. It should be easily accessible and located in a secure area, away from potential risks such as flood zones or high-crime areas. Inquire about the records center’s disaster recovery plans and business continuity protocols. They should have strategies in place to mitigate the impact of potential disasters and ensure the continuity of services. This may involve data backup and redundancy systems, off-site data replication, and alternative storage options in case of emergencies.

Insurance Coverage

Inquire about the records center’s insurance coverage. They should have appropriate insurance policies to cover any potential loss, damage, or liability associated with your stored records. Verify that they, like Advantage, are insured and bonded by several agencies that perform their own audits and reviews of their facility. Request documentation that their employees are insured and bonded, and that disaster and recovery plan carries language that references their role and responsibility in the case of loss and or damage.

Data Privacy & Confidentiality

Confidentiality is crucial when storing sensitive records. Evaluate the records center’s policies and procedures to protect the privacy of your information, including employee confidentiality agreements, data encryption measures, and compliance with relevant data protection regulations. Advantage Document Scanning and Storage Solutions has maintained comprehensive documentation of our policies, procedures, and practices, and would be happy to share them with you to help you establish your own evaluation criteria.

Document Retrieval & Service Level Agreements

Understand the records center’s policies and service level agreements regarding document retrieval. Ensure that they offer prompt and efficient retrieval services when you need access to your records. Review their processes for requesting and delivering documents, as well as any associated fees. Make note of additional steps taken to offer further protection to your records by the record management companies you are evaluating. For instance, at Advantage, we require that only authorized employees of Advantage handle pickups and deliveries, we do not allow or employ 3rd party couriers or contractors. The actual loading and unloading of vehicles for daily pickups and deliveries are performed inside of our facility. Only vehicles owned and insured by Advantage are used for picking up and delivery of our client’s records and are driven inside our facility for security as well as protection from the various elements of the weather.  Each records management company offers their own processes and procedures, so compare what is offered, and decide if they meet or exceed your organization’s needs.

Scalability & Flexibility

Consider your future needs and growth potential. Ensure that the records management company can accommodate your changing requirements, whether it’s additional storage space, document digitization, or customized services. Some records centers, like Advantage’s, offer a wide range of additional document related solutions that go above and beyond the standard storage services. Look for a vendor that can manage the complete lifecycle of your document, and any foreseeable use cases related to them. This may include active file management, long term-off site storage, digital transformation, data archiving, secure document destruction, archival microfilming, or secure vault storage.

Contract Terms & Pricing

Review the contract terms, pricing structure, and any additional fees associated with the secure vault storage services. Ensure that the pricing is transparent, and there are no hidden costs. Understand the terms of the contract, including termination clauses and any penalties.

Track Record & Reputation

Research the records center’s track record and reputation in the industry. Seek references or client testimonials to get insights into their reliability, customer satisfaction, and adherence to service level agreements. Make note of the vendor’s relationships with respected businesses, organizations, and agencies that are like your own. If you are in the healthcare industry, references from the University of Iowa Health or UnityPoint might be of particular interest. A good offsite storage company should be able to provide you with a long list of recognizable names that utilize their secure vault storage services.

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