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Regular window maintenance helps to create a safer community

Thursday, 12 December 2019

- Homeowners can do their part in preventing fallen windows by checking and maintaining their windows at least once every six months.

Singapore, 12 December 2019 - The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) recorded 48 cases of fallen windows in the first 11 months of this year. Half of these, or 24 cases involved casement windows. The remaining were 19 cases of fallen sliding windows cases and 5 were cases involving other window types such as louvre windows. There were no injuries from the cases reported.

Homeowners and occupants can help to create a safer community by checking their windows regularly as all windows may detach and fall when window parts become loosened or defective over time due to wear and tear.

"Singapore's built environment is made up of mostly high-rise buildings and the risk of injury from fallen windows is high if homeowners and occupants do not take the effort to regularly check and maintain their windows. A little effort to check, clean and change windows can go a long way to ensure the safety of the public and that of our loved ones. Together, we can keep our community safe by doing our part," said Er. Lim Beng Kwee, BCA's Director of Enforcement and Structural Inspection Department. 

Window-safety-MR12122019

From BCA's investigations of the reported cases, the key causes of fallen casement and sliding windows were:

a. Most fallen casement windows were fitted with corroded aluminum rivets, which cannot hold the window panels firmly in place as corrosion compromises the strength of the rivets. Since 2004, a retrofitting order issued by BCA requires all homeowners to replace all aluminum rivets in casement windows with stainless steel ones.

b. Most fallen sliding windows were caused by the lack of proper safety stoppers and angle strips in place to keep the window panels within the tracks. Such window panels detached and fell when homeowners applied excessive outward force in opening or closing the windows. Homeowners should ensure safety stoppers and angle strips are in place and promptly replace any worn out ones to prevent these windows from falling.

Homeowners and occupants can prevent falling windows by checking and maintaining their windows at least once every six months following these three steps:

 

Casement Windows

Sliding Windows

Check:

that fasteners are not rusty or loose.

that safety stoppers and angle strips are in their proper place.

Clean:

oil joints or moving parts.

the tracks and ensure window panels can slide smoothly.

Change:

all rivets from aluminium to stainless steel by engaging an approved window contractor.

worn-out safety stoppers and angle strips by engaging an approved window contractor.


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

Homeowners 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, homeowners can be fined up to S$10,000, imprisoned for up to one year, or both. Since 2006, 352 people have been fined and 92 people have been prosecuted for fallen windows.

Related

https://www.bca.gov.sg/Window_Safety/
http://www.hdb.gov.sg/window_safety

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (470kB .pdf).

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