Four reports of falling windows every month

Four reports of falling windows every month

In the first 11 months of the year, there were 43 cases of windows falling from homes, according to Building and Construction Authority (BCA) records.

This has already matched last year's total, but is fewer than in the years before.

None of the cases resulted in injuries.

Still, BCA chief executive John Keung said: "One fallen window is one too many. It can pose a safety risk to the public and potentially be fatal."

He added: "Because lives may be at stake, we urge home owners to be responsible in checking and cleaning their windows twice a year, and if need be, change them."

To highlight the importance of window safety, all of Singapore's 1.2 million households were sent a brochure on window maintenance tips, along with their regular utility bills, last month.

The BCA also held 18 exhibitions on window safety this year in various neighbourhoods.

Casement windows that fell this year were found to have corroded aluminium rivets.

These rivets secure friction stays, which are flat hinges that hold open windows steady.

Home owners who fail to replace all aluminium rivets in casement windows with stainless steel rivets may be fined up to $5,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.

If a window falls due to lack of maintenance, the home owner could be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to a year, or both.

As for sliding windows, those that fell did not have safety stoppers and angle strips to keep the panels on the track. They were also unable to slide smoothly.

The 43 cases of falling windows this year "could have been prevented if home owners had retrofitted aluminium rivets of casement windows with stainless steel ones and maintained their windows regularly", said the BCA.

janiceh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Dec 13, 2014.
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