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Lowest number of fallen windows in 10 years

SINGAPORE – The number of fallen windows this year has dropped to a 10-year low of 30 cases in the 11 months to November, with no injuries reported.

A window of an HDB unit. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG.

A window of an HDB unit. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG.

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SINGAPORE – The number of fallen windows this year has dropped to a 10-year low of 30 cases in the 11 months to November, with no injuries reported.

This is compared to 43 cases in the same period last year, according to statistics released today (Dec 11) by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Housing & Development Board (HDB).

Most casement windows dislodge and fall when corroded aluminium rivets fail to secure the windows.

Under the window Retrofitting Order implemented in 2004, homeowners are required to replace the aluminium rivets of casement windows with stainless steel ones. This applies to windows installed in all residential units, except for those in landed properties and ground floor of buildings.

If homeowners fail to comply with the retrofitting requirement under the Building Control Act, they will be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, can be fined up to S$5,000 and/or face a jail term of up to six months. In addition, if a window falls due to lack of maintenance, under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act, homeowners will be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, could face a maximum fine of S$10,000 and/or jail term of up to one year. Since 2006, 292 homeowners have been fined for fallen windows.

“Although the number of fallen windows is low compared to previous years, this downward trend can only be sustained if homeowners continue to take responsibility and maintain their windows regularly. They should also engage approved window contractors if they wish to do any installation or repair works to their windows,” said Mr Chin Chi Leong, BCA’s Group Director of Building Plan and Management Group.

For casement windows, homeowners should ensure that all rivets are made of stainless steel. They should also check that the fasteners are not rusty or loose, and regularly clean and lubricate joints or movable parts, the BCA said. For sliding windows, homeowners should check that the safety stoppers and/or angle strips are in place and are not damaged. Worn-out safety stoppers and angle strips should be changed. They should also clean the tracks and ensure that the window panels can slide smoothly.

“BCA, together with HDB, will continue to conduct its half-yearly “6/6, 12/12” Window Safety public campaign and roving exhibitions at community events to drive greater window safety awareness and educate homeowners on simple window maintenance tips,” added Mr Chin.

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