Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How to protect yourself from hurricane product fraud

With opening day of the 2009 Florida hurricane season only a month away, it’s a good time to caution consumers about false advertising and promotional scams for window films. A previous post advised that so-called “hurricane protection film” was no better than a band aid at stopping wind-borne debris from penetrating household window glass. Their intended application is actually automotive glass to help screen UV rays.

Consider this? You could go to your local auto parts store and buy a sheet of stick-on UV film. It’s as thin as a bread wrapper with paper backing to protect the adhesive. Before you buy this stuff and go to the trouble of pasting on a bedroom window, ask yourself a simple question. Would this film stop 2x4 flying at 60+ mph from breaking through the glass during a hurricane? Well, this is the same stuff that the “hurricane film professionals” would install at your home.

There is only one “approved” glass for windows and patio doors that can stop flying hurricane-driven debris. Impact-resistant laminated glass. Think of it as a glass sandwich, consisting of two panes of glass laminated together with a polymer interlayer. It is the only true hurricane-resistant glass that is laboratory tested, stamped with an approval number in accordance with current Miami-Fade or Florida building codes.

Don’t take our word for it. Contact the International Hurricane Protection Association (IHBA) at http://www.ihpa.com/ In December 2008; they announced the formation of the Consumer Safety Task Force for Hurricane Protection Products. This newly formed group works in tandem with the Florida Attorney General’s office to help protect consumers “who have been, or are being subjected to deceptive or misleading trade practices by unscrupulous hurricane profiteers”, quotes the IHBA press release.

So, what should you do if someone tells you that they can give you “approved hurricane protection” for a fraction of the cost of impact glass or hurricane shutters? Just ask these three simple questions: (1) Does the product have an approval number issued by the Miami-Dade County Building Code or the Florida Building Commission? (2) Is the contractor licensed to install the product with a permit? (3) Will your insurance company accept the product for hurricane protection?

We hope you are a better informed consumer after reading this post. You can get help from law enforcement if you like. Or, just slam the door on these guys and get in touch with a licensed window contractor.

If you have any questions or want to share additional information regarding this topic, drop us a comment below.


  1. What are the labels to look for on glazing that will tell you if a product is impact resistant?

  2. Thanks for all your posts. They are very helpful! I have one question: Is it true that Windows Tinting applied on a real hurricane window would void the warranty of the manufacturers?

    If that is the case, is there any alternative to further reduce the heat in a room with big windows that get hit straight by the strong afternoon Florida Sun?

    Before installing my impact windows I had tint on my old windows, and even with the promise of the new impact windows being much more efficient, the room now gets much warmer.

    I hope that I have an alternative. Thanks in advance for your response.

  3. We know that manufacturers such as PGT Industries will void the warranty if you install a film or window tinting product to the glass. Regarding alternative ways to reduce the heat, please call us at 305-328-9138 and ask for Carlos Paesano.