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Can Hurricane Impact Windows Stop a Bullet?

Hurricane Impact Windows are pretty much a necessity for people living in at-risk areas, such as Florida (particularly Southern Florida). In such places, hurricane impact windows are made mandatory in many areas, as the only viable way for a property to withstand the many vicious storms and hurricanes the state has seen down the years.

So, if you’re in this situation, you may already own impact resistant windows, which is all great for you. But you might be wondering what else these windows can stop. It’s a well-known fact that hurricane windows also act as great soundproofing, capturing a lot of outside noise, and all in all creating a more peaceful indoor atmosphere.

But what about home security?

Unfortunately, gun violence is a very real problem all over the United States, with many neighborhoods experiencing gunshots as an everyday happening. Naturally, this has prompted many homeowners to wonder if their hurricane impact window might save them from a speeding bullet.

How impact windows work…

In order to answer that question, we need to first look at what hurricane impact windows are, exactly, and how they work. You see, in spite of popular belief, hurricane windows aren’t about “stopping” the wind itself, but rather, not breaking upon impact.

Impact windows are made of two separate sheets of laminated glass, held together by a thin film of resin. It is precisely this resin sheet that prevents the window from breaking, upon impact, and thus stops the glass from shattering into a million pieces that go all over the place.

So, can a hurricane window stop a bullet?

The short answer is, no, hurricane windows do not stop a bullet for one simple reason – they’re not designed with that purpose in mind. If you think about it, there is quite a noticeable difference between a flying projectile (aka a bullet), and a strong wind, in the way they both impact a window.

While hurricane resistant windows are designed to withstand harsh winds, they are not designed to stop a single, flying projectile, and so can’t be counted on to protect your family against bullets.

However, there are alternatives if gun violence is an issue and concern for you and yours. If you’re looking for a glass that’s capable of stopping a bullet, you’ll want to go for a more solid type of laminated glass, or alternatively, with acrylic. You need something solid enough that, when hit by a bullet, it will absorb the projectile, causing it to remain stuck in the glass, rather than bump off of the glass.

All in all, bulletproof glass tends to be much thicker and denser than hurricane impact glass, as the two are designed with different purposes in mind. In any case, if you’re worried about impact (be it that of a strong wind or a bullet), the best thing to do is reach out to your impact window manufacturer or give us a call (561) 800-2419. We’ll be able to guide you towards the best type of window for your property.

Does Your Business Need Impact Windows?

We’ll tell you right off the bat – if you live or work in Florida, or the Florida area, then yes. Regardless of the type of property, it probably would be an incredibly wise decision to install hurricane impact windows sooner rather than later. Why’s that? Because as any native or Florida business knows, Florida is home to a lot of strong, vicious winds, and hurricanes. These take place roughly each year, which is why authorities have taken serious steps towards ensuring that people are protected.

And while people often think about their homes when installing hurricane impact windows, they forget to also consider their place of work.

So, here’s why your Florida business also needs impact windows…

1.  First of all, there may be a legal reason.

Since Florida is the setting of so many hurricanes and natural disasters, local regulations have been often amended and tweaked to protect residents. This is why the state of Florida now performs regular property check-ups, during which they also inspect the state of the windows.

This means that if your Florida business doesn’t meet these standards (e.g., doesn’t have impact windows), then you may be at risk. What’s more, your building may also endanger innocents, which is why the state is taking such an active hand in this issue.

2.  Impact windows will save you energy in the long run.

As an employer and business owner, it is your duty to ensure the wellbeing of your employees. For many employers, this means spending precious thousands of dollars on electric bills. If you’re working in hot temperatures, you’ll need to keep the A/C on permanently, to ensure your employees can work in these conditions.

Similarly, during the winter, you probably have to keep the central heating turned on, to keep your employees all warm and cozy. These things may not seem like much now, but they add up.

Impact windows, however, contribute to your building’s insulating properties. That means they keep the cold out in the winter, and the heat out in the summer, thus reducing your energy bills by quite a bit.

3.  Impact windows offer improved security.

As a place of business, you need to have some contingencies in place, in the case of theft. You need to ensure that company goods are insured and protected from thieves. But why not protect the goods themselves?

Because impact windows don’t just keep strong wind out, but also burglars. And thus, by reducing the risk of you getting robbed, impact windows can help safeguard your business.

4.  They’re good, insurance-wise.

Obviously, all businesses need to be insured, and that includes the building you work in. When you install hurricane impact windows, you’re automatically increasing the overall value of your property by a substantial amount. This means that when the time comes for you to get your building insured, you may get a better insurance deal if you have hurricane windows.

See? Impact windows are the only smart choice for your Florida business.

How to Tell if Your Windows Are Already Impact

We’ve all heard talk about hurricane impact windows, and all the pros and cons of installing impact windows in your home. When it boils right down to it, if you live in a high-risk hurricane area, such as South Florida, installing hurricane windows is the only smart option. But what if impact windows have been installed already?

Let’s face it, hurricane windows aren’t a new invention, and it’s quite possible that the previous owner already thought about this. So many homeowners wonder if their home is already fitted with hurricane windows. Well, here’s how to tell!

First off, what are the differences?

Well, for short, that one won’t shatter in case of a hurricane, and one will. The main difference between normal and hurricane windows is the glass. Traditional, non-resistant windows are made from float glass, which breaks into large and perilous shards, during storms or hurricanes.

Impact windows, on the other hand, have been put through several resistance tests, and are made with two slabs of fortified glass stuck to a thin film of resin that will hold the glass to it, even if shattered.

How can you tell if your windows are hurricane resistant?

1.   Impact windows have a permanent marking.

While traditional windows often have a peel-off mark with the supplier’s info, hurricane windows are supposed to have a permanent mark etched directly into the glass. This mark should contain relevant information, such as the name of the manufacturer, the thickness of the glass, and so on.

However, because some impact windows have been cut to size, they may be missing this permanent marking. So even if your windows are missing a permanent marking, this isn’t necessarily a sign that they’re not impact. So, keep looking. Sometimes, when the manufacturer was forced to cut the glass to size, they will attack a stick-on temporary mark containing the same information. This should clarify whether or not the glass is hurricane resistant.

2.   Check your reflection.

This is a particularly interesting method. As mentioned earlier, hurricane resistant windows are made of two separate slabs of glass, held together by polyvinyl butaryl (PVB) interlayer or an (SGP) interlayer. Therefore, it stands to reason that they should show two separate reflections when you hold up your hand or an object to them. Standard windows, on the other hand, being made of a single slab of glass, should only display one reflection.

3.   Check with the manufacturer.

If possible, contact the manufacturer or installer, and get their input on the matter. Theoretically, you should have access to such information, as a buyer. If the manufacturer can’t help, we suggest reaching out to the previous owner, who may well know.

4.   Get your windows professionally examined.

As a last resort, you can get a professional opinion. This will tell you whether or not the windows are hurricane-resistant, but also help establish the condition of your current windows. In case they aren’t impact, this inspection can help spot any potential weak points that may, in the future, endanger your family.

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