Spike in incidents of falling windows

Most of the 41 cases of falling windows from January to November involved casement windows. The total figure is 11 more than that recorded in the same period last year.
Most of the 41 cases of falling windows from January to November involved casement windows. The total figure is 11 more than that recorded in the same period last year.PHOTO: BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION AUTHORITY

There were more incidents of windows falling from flats this year - 41 cases from January to November, 11 more than in the same period last year, according to the latest figures.

Most of these involved casement windows which had dislodged due to corroded aluminium rivets, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Housing Board said in a statement yesterday.

Of the 41 cases, 32 involved casement windows, while eight were sliding windows. One was classified as "other".

The number of falling windows has decreased over the past decade. In 2005, for example, there were 125 cases reported.

Since 2005, it has been mandatory for home owners to change the aluminium rivets of casement windows to stainless steel ones.

Those who fail to do so can be fined up to $5,000, jailed up to six months, or both.

  • How to conduct safety checks

  • • For casement windows, ensure that all rivets are made of stainless steel.

    • Check that window fasteners are not rusty or loose, and regularly clean and lubricate joints or movable parts.

    • Use a mirror to check the rivets on the underside and top of the window panel, to ensure they are not corroded or loosened.

    • For sliding windows, check that the safety stoppers or angle strips are in place and are not damaged, and change any worn-out safety stoppers and angle strips.

    • Clean the tracks and ensure that the window panels can slide smoothly.

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

If a window falls due to lack of maintenance, home owners can be fined up to $10,000, be jailed for up to a year, or both.

Home owners should check their windows every six months, and engage an approved window contractor to repair them if necessary, advised the BCA.

"Home owners should not take window safety for granted. All windows are subject to wear and tear as residents open and close them every day and window parts can become loose or defective, causing them to detach and fall," said the BCA's director of special functions group Lim Beng Kwee.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'Spike in incidents of falling windows'. Print Edition | Subscribe