SINGAPORE: There were 46 cases of fallen windows in the first 11 months of 2018, according to the latest statistics released by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Housing Development Board (HDB) on Wednesday (Dec 12).
Although this is a fall from last year’s 56, this year’s number is still the second highest in six years.
No injuries from these cases were reported and most of them involved casement windows.
According to the joint release, 23 cases involved casement windows, 19 were sliding windows and four were other window types such as louvre windows.
Corroded aluminum rivets were found to be the main cause of fallen casement windows. Homeowners have been required since 2004 to replace all aluminum rivets in such windows with stainless steel ones, as corrosion compromises the strength and function of aluminum.
BCA and HDB advise homeowners to check that fasteners and rivets are not rusty or loose every six months. Joints and moving parts should also be oiled.
Sliding windows mostly fall due to the lack of proper safety stoppers and angle strips. Window panels detach and fall when outward force is applied when opening or closing them. Homeowners are advised to ensure such stoppers and angle strips are in place and replaced when worn out.
“In the last five years, we still see an average of about 45 cases of fallen windows each year. Each case is a danger to the community with potentially fatal consequences.
"Falling windows are preventable when homeowners know the risks, do their duties to check their windows once every six months, and take immediate actions to secure and repair them,” said Mr Lim Beng Kwee, BCA’s director from the Enforcement and Structural Inspection Department.
Homeowners who have not replaced all aluminum rivets in casement windows with stainless steel could face a penalty of up to S$5,000 and/or jail term of up to six months. In cases of fallen windows 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, 342 people have been fined, and 92 people have been prosecuted for fallen windows.