Statements on Storm or Hurricane Protection
From the International Window Film Association
The International Window Film Association will support the following references to safety and security window film in the context of storm or hurricane protection:
1) Helps hold glass fragments in place after glass breaks or holds the broken glass in the frame longer after glass breaks;
2) Offers improved protection from broken glass and may reduce subsequent rain and wind damage;
3) Can be used as part of a system design to make some existing windows more impact resistant if installed in accordance with manufacturer’s testing limitations and installation instructions.
4) Current testing shows appropriately installed safety and security film systems can be used on some newer types of existing commercial windows to provide effective impact resistance from hurricanes in openings over 30 feet or for all openings in areas designated less than 130 mph.
Homes throughout Florida are at risk from hurricanes. Glass windows and doors are some of the most vulnerable parts of a home during a hurricane and Florida’s building code mandates impact protection in most coastal communities. The building code primarily addresses new construction or additions and thus provides that new “code approved” windows or shutters be used to provide impact protection on existing structures. However, testing shows that existing windows can be made more impact resistant through the use of some safety and security window films with attachment systems. Although the performance of each window is dependent on the existing construction, current testing shows these films can be effective on commercial windows in areas with basic wind speeds under 130 mph. Unfortunately the code does not currently provide a lesser performance standard for upgrading glass windows and doors for hurricane resistance. Consequently, statements advertising window film as “approved hurricane protection” or “alternative to hurricane shutters” are, at best, misleading to the public. On the other hand, statements implying an absence of protection such as “window film is no better than duct tape,” are just as inaccurate and misleading.
Manufacturers claiming hurricane protection for a particular safety and security product should include a statement disclosing the results, conditions and limitations of the product’s installation and use in accordance with the manufacturer’s third party test report and provide access to a copy of the actual test report.
Local sellers of safety and security window film must in all cases represent the manufacturer’s product accurately and clearly to the consumer such that he believes the consumer fully understands the product’s expected performance on their individual windows and doors and provide any applicable testing data demonstrating the stated level of performance on similar windows or doors in the same environment in which it is being offered for sale. Installation must be performed in accordance manufacturer’s installation
instructions. Testing of commercial windows does not imply performance of residential windows.
The International Window Film Association considers exaggerated or misleading claims about the performance of safety and security film products which consumers might expect during hurricane events to be a very serious matter. The Association will pursue all remedies available to it including, but not limited to, full cooperation with Florida enforcement authorities and consumer protection agencies to prevent the use of such claims. Likewise, the Association will also pursue remedies for false or misleading statements referring to the absence of protection by safety and security films.