16 cases of fallen windows from Jan to May 2016

PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - There were 16 cases of fallen windows in the first five months this year, the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) said on Sunday (June 5).

Of these, 11 were casement windows and five were sliding windows.

Most of the fallen casement windows were found to have corroded aluminium rivets which had loosened from the window stays, BCA said.

Most of the sliding windows that fell did not have safety stoppers and angle strips to secure the window panels, and the windows were not able to slide smoothly along the tracks, it added.

[[{"fid":"637230","view_mode":"original_image","type":"media","attributes":{"height":388,"width":704,"border":"0","class":"media-element file-original-image"},"link_text":null}]]

In its statement, BCA said that the incidents could have been prevented if homeowners had retrofitted aluminium rivets of casement windows with stainless steel ones and maintained their windows regularly.

"Falling windows pose a safety risk to the public given our highly built up environment. All windows are subject to wear and tear, and window parts can become loose or defective over time, causing windows to detach and fall," said Er. Lim Beng Kwee, Director of BCA's Special Functions Group.

Homeowners are required to engage an approved window contractor to carry out any installation or repair works to their windows.

When a window falls, homeowners responsible can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to six months for failing to replace aluminium rivets in casement windows with stainless steel rivets.

If a window falls due to lack of maintenance, the homeowner responsible may be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed up to a year.

Since 2006, 303 people have been fined and 76 people have been prosecuted for fallen windows.