by Kimberly Jones
If you are a serious collector of high value, rare or precious
it is likely that you will need to store some or all of your
at some point. If and when this time arrives, it is important to
how to evaluate and choose the proper storage facility. The two
important aspects of storage are protection and preservation.
A fine art storage facility must be a fire resistive or
structure, composed of concrete and reinforced steel beams, so
if there were a fire, it would be contained.
The facility should be freestanding and distant from other
The entry and exit point should be the same and there
only one entry/exit. Ideally, there should be no windows in
areas; if there are, they should be blocked from light.
Motion detectors, shock sensors, and fire and smoke
be installed in all areas of the facility and they should be
to central security stations that connect respectively with
and Fire Departments. They should be monitored 24/7.
Fire protection should include either a wet pipe or dry
system throughout the facility, especially in storage areas.
Inspections of security and fire protection systems should
regularly and maintained using service contracts with
Personnel who are responsible for handling the art should
The loading dock should be secure at all times and
A computerized inventory system should be available.
All access to the facility should be monitored, restricted
Access should be limited to working hours.
Private vaults should be provided for those collectors
a higher level of security and privacy.
Temperature and humidity control is critical for art
The temperature should be maintained between 68 and 72 degrees
the humidity level should be between 50 and 55 percent.
Smoking must be prohibited.
An active pest control program should be in place.
Finally, your personal inspection of the facility is highly
as your observations during that visit are an invaluable tool in
your final decision.