Impact-resistant windows are required by the local and state building codes in many areas prone to natural disasters. These windows and doors are designed to resist breaking and prevent high winds from entering the house or building structure. If a window or door is broken during a storm, strong winds will enter the area. Looking for a way out, the winds have potential to blow-off roofs, damage doors and turn possessions into projectiles, causing considerable damage.

UL performs tests, such as the missile impact test, on merchandise such as windows, doors and louvers to help ensure that these products can resist the effects of wind-borne debris. The UL Certification mark on windstorm-rated devices helps consumers and authorities identify windows and doors that have been designed to protect from the effects of storms, such as hurricane Katrina.

See how UL engineers perform an impact test, shooting an eight-foot wood plank out of a cannon at speeds up to 100 mph. This test simulates what would happen if a large piece of debris, like a wood plank, were thrown at hurricane-force speed into a window. If the window passes UL’s test, it will absorb the blow.

Hurricane-produced winds are forceful enough to send this wood plank through a cinderblock. See just how powerful these disasters can be in this video.