17 cases of windows falling from high-rise buildings since start of year

There have been 17 cases of windows falling off from high-rise buildings since the start of the year. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER 
There have been 17 cases of windows falling off from high-rise buildings since the start of the year. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER 

SINGAPORE - There have been 17 cases of windows falling off from high-rise buildings since the start of the year.

This is fewer than the 27 cases recorded in the same period last year, said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in a statement on June 5.

In most of these cases, it was found that aluminium rivets used to secure the friction stays had corroded and not been replaced by stainless steel ones. Others had fallen off due to wear and tear and poor maintenance.

Under the Building Control (Retrofitting of Casement Window) Order 2004, homeowners are required to change the aluminium rivets of casement windows with stainless steel ones. This applies to windows in all residential units, except those in landed properties and the ground floor of buildings.

All cases of falling windows could have been avoided, said BCA.

"Prevention is the key to window safety. Singapore is made up of mostly high-rise buildings with countless windows and a fallen window can give rise to grave consequences," says Mr Chin Chi Leong, BCA's Group Director of Building Plan & Management.

He adds: "Homeowners must take responsibility to check and clean their windows or change them when necessary to ensure the safety of the public and that of your loved ones."

To combat this problem, homeowners are encouraged to conduct a simple three-step "Check, Clean and Change (if needed)" their windows twice a year, on Window Safety Days 6/6 and 12/12 annually.

Homeowners who fail to replace their aluminium rivets with stainless steel ones, could be fined up to S$5,000 and/or sentenced to up to six months in jail.

In addition, they can face up to a maximum of S$10,000 fine and/or jailed for up to one year if a window falls due to lack of maintenance.

Since 2006, 288 people have been fined for windows that have fallen from their units.