IHPA Forms Consumer Safety Task Force for Hurricane Protection Products
LANTANA, Fla., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Bill Feeley, President of the
International Hurricane Protection Association (IHPA), has announced the
formation of the Consumer Safety Task Force for Hurricane Protection Products,
intended to act in unison with the Florida Attorney General's office to
protect consumers who have been, and are being subjected to deceptive or
misleading trade practices by unscrupulous hurricane profiteers.
"The IHPA and the Attorney General of Florida have been made aware of a
continued increase in advertising and marketing misleading consumers into
buying products that do not meet the Florida Building Code (FBC) requirements
for hurricane protection," Feeley said. "The difference in choosing approved
or non-approved Hurricane protection systems can dramatically affect the
survival of a home and its contents and in some cases can be a life or death
decision. This type of deceptive trade practice needs to stop and the
companies profiting from this should be held accountable."
Feeley continued, "Florida is an attractive target for deceptive schemes
due to our high exposure to hurricanes, large retired population, and constant
influx of new residents. This creates an opportunity for deceptive and
misleading profiteers playing on the worries and fears of consumers who may
have never experienced, or understand, the potential for damage to homes or
property associated with strong wind storms."
Holding up a newspaper advertisement from a Sarasota company advertising
"Hurricane Window Film," Feeley said, "This is incredibly dangerous. A
consumer sees this in their newspaper and believes that it must be legitimate.
Unfortunately, consumers are purchasing these products in good faith thinking
they are protecting their homes and families."
It is estimated the deceptive practice of selling window film as hurricane
protection to consumers in the state of Florida alone, runs in the tens of
millions of dollars. Feeley cited a statement from the International Window
Film Association (IWFA) website, a worldwide window film industry trade
association addressing this type of advertising; "Statements such as
"hurricane proof" or "meets Dade County standards" are, at best, misleading to
the public or, at worst, fraudulent."
Feeley was quick to point out, "'Hurricane Window Film' advertising
schemes, though widespread, are not the only unapproved hurricane protection
products being advertised this way."
The IHPA lists several simple guidelines that consumers can follow to
better protect themselves before entering into a contract:
-- Does the product have an approval number issued by the Florida
Building Commission or the Miami-Dade Building Code Compliance Office?
-- Is the Contractor licensed and able to pull a permit for the
installation of the product? Currently, most jurisdictions require a building
permit be issued for the installation of impact resistant coverings or impact
resistant glazing (glass). After March 1, 2009, building permits and
inspections will be required for the installation of required impact resistant
-- Does your insurance carrier accept the product as hurricane
protection? According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Form OIR
B1-1802) and Citizens Insurance Company (Form WBDR 1802-01-09); after-market
installed window films are rated the same as having no protection at all
(None). Systems that do not meet the FBC or Miami-Dade Approvals are also
rated as "None."
"Unfortunately, many consumers are not aware they have been deceived until
they contact their insurance company for a discount or, have a qualified
inspection and receive the form that is required to apply for windstorm
credits or meet new renewal requirements from Citizens," Feeley said.
Any consumers who believe they have been mislead by a company or have
purchased window film as hurricane protection on their home should contact the
Attorney General of Florida's Fraud Hotline at 1-866-966-7226. Out of state
call 1-850-414-3990. Consumers may also file complaints on the Attorney
General of Florida's website at http://www.myfloridalegal.com. Consumers who
think they are being unfairly denied discounts for hurricane protection
products or have more questions about windstorm discounts should contact the
Florida Department of Financial Services at 1-877-693-5236.
About the International Hurricane Protection Association
The IHPA is a non-profit organization with a membership of over 200
manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and government agencies providing
quality hurricane protection systems, information, and education to insure the
publics' welfare and safety, therefore minimizing the loss of life and the
destruction of property associated with hurricanes.
For more information, go to their website at http://www.inthpa.com
SOURCE International Hurricane Protection Association
Mark M. - May - 2020 - Surfside Beach, South Carolina Hi Elizabeth, I just wanted to let you know my order arrived today. Everything looks great! I will not hesitate to recommend Empire, I am very satisfied with the whole ordering process. Thank you for the excellent service and product.
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Douglas C. - January - 2020 - The Villages, Florida First let me express how pleased I am with my new rolling shutters and how the whole process was handled. I received the shipment nicely packed with no damage to the contents. The assembly and mounting went very well and the end product fit perfectly, works very well and looks great!
Doc and Christy B. October - 2019 - Waynesville, Georgia
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Matthew B. - September - 2019 - Long Island, Bahamas Your Rolling Shutters are an Amazing Product! Thank you so very much. Wonderful service from beginning to end. Much appreciated.
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You have a great product. The way you shipped it in a big box was so nice.
I was so impressed. Attached is a picture of the installed shutters. It was a pleasure to install these Rolling shutters. You guys make it so easy. Thanks again!!
Rodney D. - June - 2019 - Sable, Texas I received the Bahama Shutters. Thank you for the quick shipment and for including one put together already so I know how they go up.Your company service is wonderful and I already have neighbors asking where I got them.
Larry A. - March - 2019 - San Diego, California I am writing this email to say Thank You to everyone at Empire. I have just finished installing the rolling and accoridon shutters you shipped to me on order 26692.The quality of your product is excellent, and your delivery was shorter than expected. The care that was taken by the people that packaged my shutters is above and beyond, and greatly appreciated. The patience Michael Joiner and his sales team showed me over the weeks I was debating what kind of shutters to by, and from whom, was also greatly appreciated. I would be happy to be a reference here on the West Coast if you should ever want one. -Larry
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Judy S. – January – 2019 - Cocoa Beach, Florida
Thanks so much for all your help!! My husband is thrilled with the Rolling Shutters and they look great.
Guven Y. – January – 2019 – Malabar, Florida
Thank you very much for everything. All of the Bahama Shutters have been hung and they all look great! They are very quality work and I am getting a lot of inquiries about them.Thanks again.
Gerald B – December – 2018 - Mattapoisett, Massachusetts
The Rolling Shutters are up and running and fit perfectly. They appear to be a very high quality product.
Jan T – November – 2018 – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida Barbara,I just wanted to tell you the storm panels went up very nicely and you sent me all the proper panels. I'll be ordering the panels for the rest of the house after the holidays. Thank you again for your assistance and it was a pleasure working with you.
Mike G. - October - 2018 - Port Charlotte, Florida
Excellent Product! Thank you Ryan. Please pass my thanks along to Bill and the rest of the team as well. I am really impressed with the system we received. Thank you all for continuing that quality product with good support.
Robert H. - September - 2018 - Beaufort, South Carolina
My Accordion Shutters are up! The windows took about 1.5 hours each. The shutters all fit very nicely, the material and finish is excellent, and they look very good. They are not intrusive at all. I am pleased, my wife is pleased ( you know that is important) and my neighbor, who helped me was impressed based upon his window/door experience. Good job! Thanks.
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David G. - July - 2018 - Sarasota, Florida
We wanted to self-install so we bought accordions and roll downs from Empire Construction.We measured our window and patio and sent Empire the specs.The shutters were an exact match.Installation is very doable for two reasonably mechanical people. In this case it was only one mechanical person and some extra hands. The accordions were a breeze as installation was mostly marking holes for spots, drilling holes, and screwing them in.Our accordions have locking pins that hold them open and act as a second lock when closed. Even if a projectile breaks the lock the rods will keep the shutters closed.These shutters are Bertha HV1. They are High Velocity Hurricane Zone Approved. Having seen a wide range of shutters we are extremely happy with the quality of the product we received!!
Jim J. - June - 2018 - Homestead , Florida
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