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BCA-HDB joint media release: Well-maintained windows for a safe living environment for everyone

Friday, 12 December 2014

- Homeowners were given window safety tips to raise awareness on the importance of window safety

Singapore, 12 December 2014 - The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has recorded 43 cases of fallen windows from both Housing & Development Board (HDB) and private residences for the first eleven months of 2014.

Commenting on the cases, BCA CEO Dr John Keung said, "One fallen window is one too many. It can pose a safety risk to the public and potentially be fatal. Everyone can play a part in making our home and our living environment safer. Because lives may be at stake, we urge homeowners to be responsible in checking and cleaning their windows twice a year, and if need be, change them."

To reinforce the importance of window safety, the BCA continued its community outreach efforts this year by conducting 18 window safety roving exhibitions in various neighbourhoods. These exhibitions provide homeowners with tips on simple window maintenance. For the first time, all 1.2 million residential households were given a brochure from the BCA about window maintenance tips along with their utility bills from SP Services in their mail from November 2014.

For casement windows, homeowners must ensure that all rivets should be made of stainless steel. They must also check that the fasteners are not rusty or loose. The windows must be cleaned regularly and their joints or movable parts lubricated.

For sliding windows, homeowners must check that the safety stoppers and/or angle strips are in place and not damaged. They must change any worn-out safety stoppers and angle strips. They should also clean the tracks and check that the window panels can slide smoothly.

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 fell 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. 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 can face up to a maximum fine of S$10,000 and/or jail term of up to one year.

Note: A copy of the BCA's window safety brochure (2014 edition) is at the Annex.

Footnote:

Window safety brochure (1.8MB .pdf)

Portable document format version of the media release is also available(467KB .pdf).

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