16 cases of windows falling from buildings since start of year

Most of the fallen casement windows were found to have corroded aluminum rivets which had loosened from the window stays.
Most of the fallen casement windows were found to have corroded aluminum rivets which had loosened from the window stays.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

SINGAPORE - There have been 16 cases of windows falling off from buildings since the start of the year, a drop of one case compared to the same period last year.

A total of 11 casement windows and five sliding windows fell in the first five months of 2016, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Housing & Development Board (HDB) said in a joint release on Sunday (June 5).

While the number of fallen windows has dipped over the past few years - from 45 cases in 2014 to 34 last year - BCA and HDB advised homeowners to maintain their windows at least once every six months.

An approved window contractor should also be engaged for any installation or repair works.

BCA's director (special functions group) Lim Beng Kwee said: "Falling windows pose a safety risk to the public given our highly built up environment. All windows are subject to wear and tear, and window parts can become loose or defective over time, causing windows to detach and fall."


Statistics from BCA and HDB.

Most of the fallen casement windows were found to have corroded aluminium rivets which had loosened from the window stays.

In addition, most sliding windows that dropped did not have safety stoppers and angle strips to secure the window panels, and the windows were not able to slide smoothly along the tracks.

If the homeowners had retrofitted aluminium rivets of casement windows with stainless steel ones and maintained their windows regularly, the incidents could have been prevented, BCA and HDB said.

A list of BCA-approved window contractors and window maintenance tips can be found at https://www.bca.gov.sg/Window_Safety or http://www.hdb.gov.sg/window_safety.

Homeowners can face a penalty of up to $5,000 and/or jail term of up to six months for failing to replace all aluminium rivets in casement windows with stainless steel rivets.

If a window falls due to a lack of maintenance, they can face up to a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or jail term of up to one year.

Since 2006, 303 people have been fined and 76 people have been prosecuted for fallen windows.

Mr Lim urged homeowners to check their windows at least twice a year, on the Window Safety Days on June 6 and Dec 12.