National standards for vaults serve as the State of Vermont's guidelines for any new construction or renovation projects. The term “vault” is associated with a specific fire tolerance level; however, other records storage environments not as highly rated as a true "vault" may still be perfectly suitable.
- NFPA 232: Standard for the Protection of Records provides criteria that address the following records storage environments (in ascending order of risk tolerance): (1) vaults, (2) archives, (3) file rooms, (4) compartmented records centers, and (5) records centers. It also includes guidelines for records protection equipment (e.g. fire-rated doors).
There are different costs associated with each records storage environment and the tolerance scale can be used to determine what best meets a public agency's needs and budget. If renovating an existing records storage facility or constructing a new one, citing NFP 232 as a requirement in requests for information (RFI) or requests for proposals (RFP) is highly recommended.
The Vermont State Archives and Records Administration is aware that it is difficult to find 4-hour fire-rated doors per the NFPA standard; the Vermont Division of Fire Safety is looking into the matter.