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Homeowners can help create a safer living environment with regular window maintenance

Saturday, 11 December 2021

43 cases of fallen windows in the first 11 months of 2021

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) recorded 43 cases of fallen windows in the first 11 months of this year. About half of these, i.e., 22 cases, involved casement windows. The remaining were 16 cases of fallen sliding windows and 5 cases involving other types of windows such as louvre windows. There were no injuries from the cases reported.

2        BCA’s investigations of the reported cases show that the main causes of fallen casement and sliding windows include:

    1. The aluminum rivets of casement windows had corroded and they were unable to hold the casement window panels firmly in place. Since 2004, BCA’s Retrofitting Order requires all homeowners to replace all aluminum rivets in casement windows with stainless steel ones.
    2. Lack of proper safety stoppers and angle strips to keep sliding window panels within the tracks to prevent dislodgements. Without these safety features in place, the windows became detached and fell when homeowners applied excessive outward force when opening or closing them. Homeowners should check that these safety features for sliding windows are in place, and promptly replace any worn out ones.

3        Also during the same period, BCA was alerted to 12 cases involving windows that were not well-maintained and on the verge of becoming dislodged. For public safety, BCA worked with HDB in engaging owners of these cases to quickly appoint an Approved Window Contractor to check and repair their windows. Hence, we urge home owners to inspect and maintain their windows regularly.

4        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 aluminum 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, 388 people have been fined and 92 people have been prosecuted for fallen windows.

5        BCA Group Director (Building Resilience) Er. Thanabal Kaliannan said, “As Singapore has many high-rise buildings and a dense built environment, each fallen window is dangerous that could potentially cause death or serious injuries.  All homeowners and occupants can play a part to mitigate this risk by checking and maintaining their windows regularly. Together, we can keep our community and living environments safe.”

6        All windows may detach and fall when their parts become loosened or defective over time due to wear and tear. Homeowners and occupants can do their part by checking and maintaining their windows at least once every six months:

 

Casement Windows

Sliding Windows

  • CHECK

 

that fasteners are not rusty or loose.

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

  • CLEAN

 

and oil joints or moving parts.

the tracks and ensure window panels can slide smoothly.

  • CHANGE

 

all aluminum rivets to stainless steel ones by engaging an approved window contractor.

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

 

7        A list of BCA-approved window contractors and window maintenance tips can be found at:

Download PDF version of the Media Release here

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