GDPR Applies to Paper Archives Not Only Online Records
Many businesses and other organisations are legally obliged to keep records for a defined number of years.
These records, for example, legal documents and health records, are often in printed form and it may not have been possible to convert them into digital records.
However, paper records can soon start eating up space and one solution has been for organisations to store them with self-storage companies.
Weird items found in self-storage and what not to store
In the north of England there’s a saying: “there’s nowt so queer as folk” and that surely applies to some of the weird items that have been found in self-storage units over the years.
The majority of bizarre finds have been in the USA, where self-storage has been going for a lot longer than it has in the UK, even so, you have to wonder what people were thinking!
Perhaps the strangest find of all was a meat smoker containing an amputated human leg. It turned out that the leg’s owner had been in a plane crash and had been keeping it in storage so that it could be buried with him when he died.
High on the weirdness list is the remains of a grandmother – fortunately in her coffin – in Tampa Bay, Florida. There was an explanation, however. The woman’s daughter had been prevented from arranging burial by a combination of rainstorms and a broken-down truck, hence putting granny in storage.
Among the other finds have been a live hand grenade and a NASA rocket.
In the UK, finds have included a Sunday dinner left in an oven, a stuffed mammoth, a rifle and samurai sword, an old piano, empty champagne bottles and a wooden fridge.
What not to store
Self-storage companies do have some rules about what you can’t store, mostly for safety reasons.
Plainly, anything that could rot or attract vermin is not a good idea, so food is on the no-store list. It can rot and can also attract vermin and insects. Not only that an infestation would spread to other units in the facility.
By the same token hazardous materials are banned. They include chemicals, aerosol cans, acids, gases, gasoline, propane tanks, lamp or motor oils, pains, paint thinners, cleaners, pesticides, weed killers, car batteries and fireworks. Similarly, if storing lawn mowers or similar items that are petrol driven they should be drained of fuel before storage.
Equally, anything living, whether plants or pets should not be stored. Believe it or not, it has been tried, with tragic results in some cases.
Similarly, self-storage is not the solution for stashing stolen goods or for firearms, munitions, gunpowder and explosives.
Finally, and perhaps surprisingly, there is a restriction on the storage of tyres – usually limited to a maximum of four. The explanation facility owners give is that it is expensive to dispose of them and storage companies are often stung with the bill.