Why Professionally Shredding Your Confidential Documents is Better Than Just Burning Them – When you hire a professional shredding service, they will make sure that each and every document is destroyed completely.
If you’ve ever tried to think of a way to get rid of confidential documents that doesn’t involve a professional shredding provider, then you may have considered just burning them- thinking this would do the trick for less money and as a very final way of keeping your data private. But the truth is – it’s actually not.
This is a common question people have before they decide to work with a professional paper shredding company. And the answer is an important one to understand.
When you hire a professional shredding service, they will not only make sure that each and every document is destroyed completely, but they’ll also ensure that the materials being shredded are suitable for the process of shredding.
There are several reasons why this is a better way to handle sensitive documents versus just burning them. Here’s a closer look at the most important reasons you’ll want to consider.
Burning paper can result in the release of toxic gases.
Burning paper can result in the release of toxic gasses, many of which are harmful to the environment and to humans. Some, such as carbon monoxide, are carcinogenic. The burning process also releases particulate matter—tiny particles suspended in the air that can irritate your eyes and respiratory system, cause asthma attacks or worse.
A fire may not destroy every part of a document.
If you are an employee at a company with sensitive information, there is always the possibility that a competitor could use this data to steal your business secrets. A fire may not destroy every part of a document or hard drive as many plastics and other materials cannot be destroyed by fire alone—and even if those do burn completely, debris can still be left behind that is pieced together.
It is difficult to burn paper so that it is completely destroyed.
While it might seem like paper would burn easily, the truth is that paper burns at a relatively low temperature and can be difficult to control. Paper also doesn’t generate as much heat as other items, so it doesn’t necessarily always burn long enough to completely destroy every piece of information on it.
Professional shredding services cost no more than a home shredder or other methods.
Using a home shredder to destroy documents is costly, time-consuming and inefficient. It might seem like a good idea at the moment to save money by using a home or table top shredder instead of hiring professionals, but in reality it’s not worth the hassle or increased risk of identity theft. Plus, using your own machine means having to empty its bin every few minutes—and depending on how many documents you’re trying to destroy, this can get super annoying pretty fast. Plus most people don’t know how their particular model works, so they end up wasting paper rather than properly destroying it.
Not all paper should be burned, even if you have the equipment to do so.
Some documents can only be shredded before being disposed of; these include medical records, private financial information (like your income tax returns) or any other document that contains sensitive personal information about others who could potentially suffer identity theft as a result of its loss.
As we enter into 2023, now’s the time to get serious about shredding if you haven’t yet. Not only does it make sense from an ethical perspective (and in compliance with state and federal laws), but there are also practical reasons why you should never burn paper or consider it as a safe option for secure document destruction! If you’re looking for more information on the topic or want to learn more about our services, please contact us today!
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