Consider fitting windows and doors with shutters


Consider fitting external windows and glass doors with shutters or metal screens

One way to protect a home from damage during intense storms and cyclones is to install impact-resistant shutters over all large windows and glass doors. Not only do they protect doors and windows from wind-borne objects, but also they can reduce damage caused by sudden pressure changes when a window or door is broken.

The simplest, less expensive designs are those that simply cover the opening with a structural panel such as plywood. In the past, many homeowners, upon returning, have noticed their temporary plywood shutters blew off because they were not adequately fastened.

If you have a wood-frame house, use adequate fasteners to attach the panels over the openings when a cyclone approaches. If you live on the coast where cyclones are common, have these temporary customised shutters stored and ready to use. Building supply stores generally sell out of these materials quickly when there's a cyclone warning.

Cyclone-rated metal roller shutters provide an effective cyclone defence. Australian Standards governs the testing procedures and product requirements for any product to be classified as 'cyclone rated', so check the products and materials you are considering are 'cyclone rated.

If your residence has permanent shutters, evaluate their effectiveness. Manufacturers are responsible for testing their shutters up to the standards necessary to resist wind forces and wind-borne debris. Some shutters are very flexible, especially those that roll up.

If struck by a rigid piece of debris, shutters may bend and break the window. To determine whether your shutter can resist this impact, gently lean against it to see if it bends. Inspect shutter obvious excessive wear or missing connectors. Ask the shutter manufacturer for recommended installation criteria.