50 cases of fallen windows in 2017, highest in five years

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SINGAPORE: Fifty cases of windows falling off their frames have occurred this year, the highest number since 2013, according to statistics released on Tuesday (Dec 12) by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Housing Development Board (HDB). 

While there have been no injuries arising from the cases reported, the number of cases have increased by four from last year. Most of these cases involved casement and sliding windows.

The average number of fallen windows remains at 44 cases per year, over the last five years. (Image: BCA and HDB)

The casement windows fell due to corroded aluminum rivets, compromising the functionality and strength of the rivets, BCA and HDB said.

Since 2014, homeowners are required to replace aluminum rivets in casement windows with rivets made of stainless steel. Homeowners should also check that window rivets and fasteners are not rusty or loose and regularly clean and lubricate joints and moving parts. 

Cases involving sliding windows were mostly caused by the lack of proper safety stoppers and angle strips which help to keep window panels within the tracks. This can result in window panels detaching and falling when homeowners force open or close their windows. 

Safety stoppers and angle strips in sliding windows should be replaced if they are worn out or damaged. 

“Falling windows pose a huge danger to the public. We should all do our part to eliminate this risk. All homeowners and tenants should regularly maintain their windows at least once every six months,” said Mr Lim Beng Kwee, director of BCA’s Special Functions Group.

Homeowners can face a penalty of up to $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 out due to lack of maintenance, homeowners can face a maximum fine of $10,000 and a jail term of up to one year. 

Since 2006, 326 people have been fined, and 86 people have been prosecuted for fallen windows.

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