Thieves typically break a window to unlock a door or otherwise gain entry to a home. It’s a strategy that requires very little time, is relatively quiet, and happens so quickly neighbors don’t even notice. Impact windows provide more than hurricane protection from flying debris. They’re also an excellent deterrent against would-be burglars.
Impact windows are designed and tested to withstand debris from hurricanes that can include coconuts, shingles, and even 2x4s that are traveling at high speed. They’re also able to survive a hammer strike, hole punch, fist, or a brick that intruders may use in an effort to break a window.
Traditional window glass represents the weakest point of any home. Ordinary window and door glass will easily break when impacted. Impact glass will splinter if attacked with sufficient force, but it won’t break. It’s very similar to the way a car windshield reacts to an impact by spidering rather than breaking.
The difference is in the manufacturing process. Impact windows are constructed using multiple layers of glass and a plastic membrane. The result is a tougher form of glass and the plastic membrane effectively holds the pieces of glass together as a whole rather than shattering like traditional types of window or door glass.
Installing impact glass is also beneficial financially. Many insurance companies provide discounts on homeowner policies when impact glass is installed in windows and doors. It reduces the potential of a large payout on their part for damages and loss. The windows are also energy efficient and may be eligible for a 10 percent credit on tax returns if they meet ENERGY STAR® specifications.
Impact glass isn’t burglar-proof, but gaining entry requires far more time and effort to break than most burglars are ready to invest since they rely on speed and stealth to accomplish their goal. The specialized glass does present a significant deterrent to would-be intruders and gives individuals peace of mind knowing their home isn’t an easy mark for the unscrupulous.