Cases of fallen windows down to 10-year low

The number of fallen windows so far this year is the lowest in a decade, with 30 cases in the first 11 months of the year.
The number of fallen windows so far this year is the lowest in a decade, with 30 cases in the first 11 months of the year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The number of fallen windows so far this year is the lowest in a decade, with 30 cases in the first 11 months of the year.

This was down from 43 cases in the same period last year, according to statistics issued by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Housing & Development Board (HDB) on Friday (Dec 11).

There were no injuries arising from the cases reported this year.

"Although the number of fallen windows is low compared to previous years, this downward trend can only be sustained if homeowners continue to take responsibility and maintain their windows regularly.

"They should also engage approved window contractors if they wish to do any installation or repair works to their windows," said Mr Chin Chi Leong, group director of BCA's Building Plan and Management Group.

Most casement windows dislodge and fall due to corroded aluminium rivets that are no longer able to secure the windows, said the agencies in a joint release.

Under the window retrofitting order implemented in 2004, homeowners must replace any aluminium rivets of casement windows with stainless steel ones.

This applies to windows installed in all residential units, except for those in landed properties and on the ground floor of buildings.

Homeowners found guilty of not complying will face a fine of up to $5,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

In addition, if a window falls due to lack of maintenance, homeowners face a maximum fine of $10,000, a jail term of up to one year, or both under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act.

Since 2006, 292 homeowners have been fined for fallen windows.

The agencies gave tips on window maintenance. For casement windows, homeowners should ensure that all rivets are made of stainless steel. They should also check that the fasteners are not rusty or loose, and regularly clean and lubricate joints or movable parts.

For sliding windows, homeowners should check that the safety stoppers and angle strips are in place and not damaged.

Worn-out safety stoppers and angle strips should be changed. They should also clean the tracks and ensure that the window panels can slide smoothly.

The BCA and HDB conduct window safety public campaigns twice a year on June 6 and December 12, as well as roving exhibitions at community events.

"By playing our part to check and maintain our windows, we can create a safe built environment for Singaporeans," said Mr Chin.

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