Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Storm Shutters Stay Up All Hurricane Season

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on October 28, 2013

Storm Shutters Stay Up All Hurricane SeasonProperty values will decline and more crime will occur if the city passes a proposed ordinance to allow part-time property owners to keep their hurricane shutters up during the entire storm season, opponents say.

“It’s an invitation to robbers and thieves. Plus, having shutters up all that time is unsightly,” said Don Raskin, vice president of the Barclay Club at PGA National.

Supporters say consumers would save money. It costs about $1,200 to install and remove galvanized shutters with wing nuts on all windows and doors in a typical 2,000-square-foot home, said two shutter business owners. Building owners would avoid repeatedly paying to put up and take down shutters when storms approach.

“The city has no business telling a property owner when they can put up and take down shutters during the hurricane season,” said Paul Creelman, owner of Centurion Home Tenders of North Palm Beach.

Shutters in Palm Beach Gardens now can be on a building five days before a storm hits and five days after it passes.

If approved by the city council Jan. 5, building owners who register with the city could keep shutters up between June 1 and Nov. 30. Shutters would not be allowed the rest of the year.

Building owners who leave during the summer would give the city two names of local residents to provide keys to the doors of shuttered buildings in case of either a crime or fire.

Firefighters now must break through shutters when a fire starts in a building owned by a person who is not reachable. The longer it takes to get inside a burning building, the more dangerous the situation to firefighters, said Chief Pete Bergel of the Palm Beach Gardens Fire-Rescue Department.

A fire inside a building absorbs oxygen for fuel. When firefighters break through the shutters, the fire sucks in oxygen and expands. Flames blast out.

“A firefighter standing in the way is pretty much dead,” Bergel said.

Other communities in Palm Beach County do not require registration. Boynton Beach allows shutters on commercial and residential buildings to stay up all season, but few owners choose to do so, said Ray Carter, the city’s interim fire chief.

“I can count on two hands the number of buildings that have shutters up all season,” he said.

In Wellington, building owners can keep shutters up three days before and three days after a hurricane. Owners can install shutters for two-week periods twice a year for vacations, said Steve Koch, Wellington’s code compliance manager.

“We’re flexible if they want a little longer time,” Koch said.

Allowing shutters to stay up all season would avoid the mad rush for pre-hurricane installation, said Russ Griffin, owner of West Palm Beach-based Shutter Bugs, which installs hurricane shutters.

“Frantic people offer me thousands of dollars. They are afraid their insurance won’t pay if their shutters aren’t up,” Griffin said.

Palm Beach Gardens officials say the registration is in response to complaints from part-time residents.

They told city officials they must either depend on a friend or pay a business to install and remove their shutters.

“Seasonal residents want the peace of mind to have shutters up during hurricane season,” Bergel said.

Homeowners associations in Palm Beach Gardens can pass their own regulations to prohibit the shutters from being up all season even if the council passes the ordinance, Bergel said.

Even so, the proposal isn’t likely to win much support in the Bent Tree Homeowners Association, said Beth Kyne, the HOA’s vice president.

“I can’t think of any reason why the city would cater to the out-of-town crowd. The council would be well advised to pay attention to the people who live and vote in this town,” Kyne said.

Either way, you have the right to protect your home when you are living there full time. Contact CAT 5 Shutters, LLC in West Palm Beach via web at www.cat5hurricaneshutterswpb.com or call us toll free at 1-877-CAT-FIVE. We offer free estimates and have a wide variety of different hurricane protection.

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