41 cases of fallen windows from Jan to Nov, an increase of 11 from last year

View from the foot of a HDB block at Edgefield Plains in Punggol.
View from the foot of a HDB block at Edgefield Plains in Punggol. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - There were 41 cases of fallen windows from January to November this year, 11 more cases than in the same period last year, authorities said.

Most of these cases are casement windows which had dislodged and fallen due to corroded aluminium rivets, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Housing & Development Board (HDB) said in a press release on Sunday (Dec 11).

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

Numbers of falling windows have decreased over the past decade. There were 125 cases in 2005.

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

They can be fined up to $5,000 and/or face a jail term of up to six months if they fail to do so.

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

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

"Homeowners 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 director of special functions group Lim Beng Kwee.

Here is their advice on how to check your windows:

- For casement windows, homeowners must 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. "

- 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, homeowners should check that the safety stoppers and/or angle strips are in place and are not damaged, and change any worn-out safety stoppers and angle strips.

- They should also 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 http://www.bca.gov.sg/window_safety and http://www.hdb.gov.sg/window_safety.