You need to be aware of hurricane shutter exit safety because although a building with full storm protection by APS Hurricane Protection is so much safer in a hurricane, the shutters can present a bit of a safety hazard by blocking escape routes should a fire occur.
Whenever possible APS Hurricane Protection always adds an egress opening. With our panels it’s 2 handles attached to the inside that allow our customers to remove a panel enabling their escape. Typically with our accordion shutters we add an inside lock. Customers can raise the lower window or open a slider door to access the lock from the inside and then open their shutter. With all of our roll-down shutters we install an interior crank for you, and a handle attaches to that crank so that the shutter can be raised manually.
I am constantly thinking about 2 exits in every home for customers to escape in case of an emergency.
–Owner Tim Stipanovic
Beware of Hot Metal During Hurricane Shutter Exit Safety
As you know, metal heats up faster than most materials. Don’t put bare hands on a hurricane shutter during a fire. Always assume that any metal is scorching hot during a fire even it it’s in a different room, and prepare your hand by wrapping it in a towel before reaching for our emergency exit handles.
Several Florida area fire rescue and police departments have information about hurricane shutter exit safety.
Extra Hurricane Shutter Exit Safety Note
Storm shutters are not dangerous when used correctly. Make sure to only close storm shutters to protect your home, family (including pets) and belongings when there is an imminent threat of a hurricane. If you leave windows shuttered while you’re away and there is no hurricane threat, then you may be blocking entrance by firefighters if there is a fire and nobody’s around to let them in.
Ensure that you create an emergency escape plan and make sure everyone in the house is aware of how they should exit in the event of fire. Visitors and babysitters should be shown how to work our exit handles. Our shutters are designed to protect you from hurricanes, and they do that extremely well, but they can also impede your exit from inside during a fire, or other type of emergency. We cannot stress this strongly enough: Know your way out.
You can read a Florida building code interpretation here regarding hurricane shutter exit safety.