• Published Date: 06 Jun 2017

    -  Increase in cases of fallen windows; BCA and HDB would like to remind homeowners to maintain their windows every six months and do the necessary replacements required

     

    2          6 June 2017 – There were 28 cases of fallen windows in the first five months of this year compared to an average of 24 cases in the same period over the last five years. There were no injuries arising from the cases reported in this period.

     


    NUMBER OF FALLEN WINDOWS

     

    3          Most of the fallen casement windows were found fitted with aluminum rivets which have corroded. This compromises the functionality and strength of the rivets, rendering them unable to hold the window panels firmly in place. For the sliding windows, most of them fell because they were not well-maintained and could not slide smoothly along the sliding tracks. Moreover, these windows did not have proper safety stoppers and angle strips in place, to ensure that the window panels are kept within the tracks. Thus, the window panels detached and fell when homeowners applied additional force to open or close the windows.

     

    4          These cases could have been prevented if the windows were well-maintained and had the necessary replacements done. For example, all aluminium rivets in casement windows should be replaced with stainless steel ones, and safety stoppers and/or angle strips in sliding windows should be replaced if they are worn out.

     

    5          "We would like to remind all homeowners and tenants to regularly maintain their windows at least once every six months. This applies to all window types, including casement, sliding or louvered windows, and even if their windows were installed or have been retrofitted with stainless steel rivets,” said Er. Lim Beng Kwee, Director of BCA’s Special Functions Group.

     

    6          In addition, to keep casement windows in good working condition, homeowners should check that the window rivets and fasteners are not rusty or loose. They should also regularly clean and lubricate joints or movable parts. As for sliding windows, homeowners should check that the safety stoppers and/or angle strips are in place and are not damaged. They should also clean the tracks and ensure that the window panels can slide smoothly (refer to Annex B).

     

    7          “Falling windows can cause serious injuries to others in the neighbourhood. We should all do our part to ensure that public safety is not compromised. As part of our outreach campaign, we will be raising public awareness on ways to conduct proper window maintenance through roving exhibitions as well as distribution of posters and flyers at both public and private housing estates. Nevertheless, do not hesitate to consult an approved window contractor if you are unsure of the condition of your windows at home,” Er. Lim added.

     

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

     

    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, homeowners can face up to a maximum fine of S$10,000 and/or jail term of up to one year. Since 2006, 307 people have been fined and 81 people have been prosecuted for fallen windows.

     

    Issued by the Building and Construction Authority and Housing & Development Board on 6 June 2017

     


    ANNEX A

     

    Common Misconceptions About Window Safety

      MYTH FACT
    1 Sliding windows would not fall Sliding windows can also fall if they are not regularly maintained. Homeowners should check that the safety stoppers and angle strips of sliding windows are in place, clean the windows and ensure that window panels can slide smoothly, and change worn-out safety stoppers and angle strips by engaging an approved window contractor.
    2 New windows or windows that are never opened would not fall All windows are subject to wear and tear, and window parts can become loose or defective over time, causing windows to detach and fall.
    3 For casement windows, homeowners only need to check the rivets or screws on the visible part of the window or the pivot points of the window When maintaining casement windows, homeowners should also use a mirror to check the rivets on the underside and top of the window panel, to ensure they are not corroded or loosened.