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Do You Know These Florida Building Code Product Approval Facts?

Facts Myths written on a chalkboardEach state has varying geographical climates and terrains which makes their building codes different per each state’s unique requirements.

Northern states created codes to equip their buildings for harsh winters; western states created codes to equip their buildings for impending earthquakes; and southern states, such as Florida, created codes to equip their buildings for impending hurricanes and heavy rainfalls.

Florida Product Approval requirements echo the Florida Building Code, which is updated every three years to meet current structural strength, stability, energy conservation, ventilation needs and more, ensuring homes are safe, energy efficient and offer  peace of mind to homeowners.

Florida Product Approved!

The “FL #” is the most common way you’ll see the Florida Product Approval Number referenced. It was created by the state for all construction trades as a measurement to determine if the product meets state requirements, including high velocity hurricane zones (HVHZ).

9 Florida Building Code Product Approval Facts!

Government legislation is littered with technical, industry jargon making it convoluted and challenging to understand. 

To reduce the complexity of the Florida Product Approval system, we’ve broken down a few Florida Building Code and Florida Product Approval facts into nine bite-size, digestible chunks.

Question #1: What are three steps you’ll need to take in order to get your product approved by the state of Florida? 

Answer: 1-Apply; 2- Provide proof of compliance; 3- Application review 

Question #2: Which department reviews your Florida Product Approval Application?

Answer: The Department of Business and Professional Regulation has staff members who will review your application which may be approved or may require additional review by the Florida Building Commission.

Question #3: What are five products that commonly require product approval?

Answer: Products that require product approval can include:

  • Exterior doors
  • Impact protective systems
  • Shutters
  • Skylights
  • Windows

Question 4: When completing a product approval specification sheet, how many fields must be filled out? 

Answer:  Four: category/subcategory; manufacturer; product description; Florida Product approval number

Question 5: When can the building official question the product evaluation from an approved entity or state licensed P.E. or R.A.?

Answer: Only when an evaluation is not conducted by a standard method adopted by the Code. There is a request for local product approval.

Question 6: What is the advantage to using the state approval option vs. the local approval?

Answer: State approval by the Florida Building Commission shows builders, architects, building officials and inspectors that your products have completed rigorous testing requirements and meet the standards specified in the Florida Building Code. No further documentation is required. However, the local approval option requires the same level of documentation, and the local approval is good in that local jurisdiction only.

Question 7: Does the building department accept all evaluations?

Answer: No. Products for which the Code does not establish standard evaluation methods (for instance a standardized test) must still be evaluated by state approved entities or Florida P.E’s or R.A.’s. The building official can question such evaluations for local product approval.

Question 8: What does the local building official have to verify or validate?

Answer: That the product evaluation was conducted by a Commission approved entity or Florida licensed P.E. or R.A.; that the manufacturer has a QA program in place monitored by a state approved QA entity or that the product is listed under a Commission approved certification program; and that installation instructions are provided consistent with the evaluation document.

Question 9: Do products need to satisfy additional requirements with the city or county if it is approved by the state?

Answer: Potentially. If your product has a Florida Product Approval Number, it doesn’t automatically mean that it meets Florida Building Codes or satisfies the city and county requirements

How Well Do You Know Florida Building Code Product Approval?

How well did you do? Did you know the answers to all nine trivia questions? There is plenty more to know about Florida Build Codes and Florida Product Approvals, which is why you may find the following resources beneficial:

All Eastern Architectural windows and doors are Florida Product Approved. To learn more about EAS window and door ratings, click the button below:

EAS windows and doors ratings brochure