Midway through the 2010 hurricane season the U.S. coast has been spared the full brunt of a storm. Prudent homeowners making preparations for what might be to come have been warned against buying so-called "hurricane protection" products without fully investigating claims.
Specifically, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is advising consumers in his state to be cautious when considering window film that is supposed to protect against high winds and flying debris. He says the implied benefits leave homeowners with a false sense of security, and ultimately very vulnerable.
Through information gathered from the International Hurricane Protection Association (IHPA), McCollum said investigators have determined that aggressive sales tactics may have misled some homeowners to believe the hurricane protection for windows has been approved for residential as well as commercial use, when in reality the film protection advertised has been approved only for commercial use.
The Florida Building Code compliant forms of hurricane protection contain no approval(s) for film applied to a residential structure. The consumer must be aware that passing some but not all testing does not qualify a product for approval.
Purportedly, some window film companies are also falsely claiming that by purchasing the window film for residential use, the homeowner will be eligible for an insurance discount. In reality, the insurance industry may not recognize this discount because the window film does not meet the standards for use in a residence.
Recently, the International Window Film Association (IWFA) began issuing manufacturer and dealer alerts in an effort to make sure companies are adhering to proper business procedures. While most members are following proper advertising and sales practices, some are not. Additionally, not all film manufacturers are part of the IWFA, therefore they are not held to the same standards.