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BCA-HDB joint release: Fewer fallen windows this year

Sunday, 2 June 2013

- More community roadshows to drive awareness of window safety and spur action to maintain windows

Singapore, 2 June 2013 - 18 windows fell in the first five months this year compared to 35 cases in the same period last year. Despite fewer fallen windows, homeowners should not take window safety for granted.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), one in every two Singaporeans is aware of the importance of window safety and ways to maintain windows. However, approximately 30% of those who are aware did not maintain their windows regularly.

BCA is organising more window safety roving exhibitions at community events to drive greater awareness of window safety and the importance of regular window maintenance. Seven window safety roving exhibitions have been conducted this year, with at least ten more planned for the rest of the year. In 2012, BCA conducted ten roving exhibitions to educate homeowners about simple window maintenance tips through sliding and casement window mock-ups. HDB has also highlighted the importance of window safety at grassroots events, block parties and public talks.

"Homeowners should check and maintain their windows regularly as they have a responsibility to ensure window safety. Through the window safety roving exhibitions, BCA aims to share with residents the importance of window safety and provide tips on window maintenance. This will enable them to take the necessary precautions to ensure window safety," said Mr Lim Chong Yong, Director of Building Management Department, BCA.

For casement windows, homeowners should ensure that all rivets are stainless steel ones. 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/or angle strips are in place and 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 (refer to Annex A).

All casement windows that gave way and fell this year were found to have corroded aluminium rivets which were used to secure the friction stays of the window. In addition, sliding windows that have fallen did not have safety stoppers and angle strips to secure the window panels, and the windows were not able to slide smoothly along the tracks (refer to Annex B). These could have been prevented if homeowners had retrofitted aluminium rivets of casement windows with stainless steel ones and maintained their windows regularly.

Homeowners can face a penalty of up to S$5,000 and/or jail term of up to six months for failing to replace all aluminium rivets in casement windows with stainless steel rivets. In addition, if a window falls due to lack of maintenance, they could face up to a maximum fine of S$10,000 and/or jail term of up to one year.

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

 

Footnotes

Window safety poster (1.3MB .pdf)

Comparisons of correctly installed windows with defective windows (356KB .pdf)

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (810KB .pdf).

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