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BCA-HDB joint news release: Regular window maintenance can minimise incidents of fallen windows

Monday, 4 June 2012

- More than 70% of all fallen window incidents are due to poor window maintenance. 
- At least 85% of casement windows fell as a result of failing to retrofit the windows with stainless steel rivets.

Singapore, 4 June 2012 - Homeowners can minimise incidents of fallen windows by checking and maintaining their windows once every six months, and repairing them if necessary. Since 2006, more than 70% of all fallen window incidents are due to poor window maintenance. Also, at least 85% of casement windows fell as a result of failing to replace aluminium rivets to stainless steel rivets.

According to BCA, there are 35 cases of fallen windows from January to May this year, compared to 20 cases in the same period for 2011 and 2010. BCA and HDB have been stepping up efforts to create greater awareness of the importance of window safety. Besides the half yearly Window Safety Campaign on 6 June and 12 December, BCA and HDB are reaching out to educate the community through roving exhibitions on windows safety. Since June 2011, BCA has conducted four roving exhibitions, with more planned this year. Homeowners can learn about simple window maintenance tips from sliding and casement window mock-ups and demonstrations at the windows safety booth. Toolkits for window maintenance will also be distributed to residents to encourage them to check and maintain their windows.

BCA will also be carrying out windows inspections at both private and HDB estates to send a strong message to all flat owners on window safety and to reinforce the importance of regular window maintenance.

All windows are subjected to wear and tear, and may detach and fall when window parts become loose or defective. Homeowners only need to follow three simple steps to maintain their windows. For casement windows, they should (1) check that the fasteners are not rusty or loose, (2) clean and lubricate joints or movable parts and (3) change all rivets from aluminium to stainless steel. For sliding windows, homeowners should (1) check that the safety stoppers and/or angle strips are in place or not damaged, (2) clean the tracks and ensure the window panels can slide smoothly and (3) change worn-out safety stoppers and angle strips (refer to Annex A (1.3MB .pdf)).

BCA continues to take a serious stand on window safety and ensuring a built environment safe from falling windows. Under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA), homeowners or tenants could face a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or jail term of up to one year if a window falls due to lack of maintenance. In addition, if any fallen casement window is found with aluminium rivets, they can also face a further penalty of up to S$5,000 and/or jail term of up to six months, for failing to retrofit the window with stainless steel rivets.

A list of BCA-approved window contractors and window maintenance tips can be found at https://www1.bca.gov.sg/public/homeowners/window-safety/approved-window-contractorhttps://www1.bca.gov.sg/public/homeowners/window-safety/window-maintenance and http://www.hdb.gov.sg/windows_safety or on Facebook.

Footnote

Annex A - Windows Safety Poster (1.3MB .pdf)

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (1.3MB .pdf).

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