Impact-resistant glass has been used in the automotive industry for years. Laminated glass aids in keeping windshields intact during high-impact accidents. In August 1992, Hurricane Andrew swept through southern Florida and destroyed many homes. After this, Florida began promoting hurricane-resistant architecture, including impact-resistant roofs, doors and windows. Today, many areas in Florida require new homes to contain hurricane-proof windows, which include homes around the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf Coast area.

No window is completely hurricane-proof, but impact-resistant glass or shutters can withstand high winds and flying debris. Some types of hurricane-proof windows also include a heavy-duty frame that surrounds the glass and prevents the home's structure from collapsing. If glass breaks or the window frame collapses, wind sneaks into the house. When this occurs, the pressure inside is different from the outside, and the roof or walls collapse. Impact-resistant glass, sturdy window frames and hurricane shutters all work to prevent this from happening.

When it comes to choosing a type of hurricane-proof window, options include impact-resistant glass or shutters. Two types of impact-resistant glass are available. The most effective type is inner-membrane windows. These windows contain an invisible layer of polyvinyl butaryl (PVB) between two slabs of glass. Though the glass may shatter on impact, the inner membrane stays intact along with the sturdy frame around it. Another option is shatter-resistant film that covers regular glass. This film helps prevent glass from easily shattering.