Hurricane Window Protection

Existing windows in buildings were not designed to resist debris blown during hurricane conditions, forced entry, or explosions. Subject to such stresses, existing glass often breaks into lethal shards during a hurricane. These shards are often hurled from the window frame, endangering building occupants.

If a window with a security film breaks during a hurricane, the film holds the glass shards intact preventing them from becoming lethal projectiles. The film provides maximum protection by allowing the glass to shatter but remain intact within its frame.

The force of a hurricane can project an object through a window breaking the glass inward causing large dagger-like glass shards to fly into the building and strike occupants. Both laminated glass and security window film may mitigate the impact of stress on a glass window during hurricane conditions. In the case of laminated glass, the window frame must support the weight of the glass in order for the total glass and window system to provide resistance to hurricane forces. Just installing laminated glass in existing window frames may not prevent the glass from separating from the frames when hurricane-like force is experienced.

Security window film is strengthened when attached to the frame. Window film manufacturers, distributors and installers have developed retrofit film attachment mechanisms for securing security film to the window frame.

Tests verify that many security films provide equivalent, or in some cases superior, protection compared to laminated glass during hurricane-like forces. The question for decision-makers is how to choose between laminated glass and security film for maximum hurricane window protection.

The devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina on the ability of businesses to function serves as a frightening reminder that even the best disaster recovery plan may fail if steps are not taken to insure protection or limit the impact of a hurricane.

In either case, the disaster protection plan and recovery plan must be mutually supportive and not establish policies and procedures that are in conflict. The end result should be an integrated security protection program that sets up a course of action to prevent and mitigate the impact of a hurricane as well as steps to be taken in the event such an incident occurs. Obviously, those responsible for security need to address such issues as computer security, asset protection, records continuity, and risk management.

There are many examples of how safety and security can be seamlessly built into the physical structure, resulting in significant increases in the protection of building occupants and the ability to recover from potentially disruptive events. Security window film can strengthen windows to withstand hurricane-driven windblown debris that can cause glass shards to strike building occupants. Security film helps windows withstand earthquake stress, accidental and intended impact, and explosive force. Tests verify that many security hurricane window protection films provide equivalent, or in some cases superior, performance compared to more expensive laminated glass.