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43 cases of fallen windows this year, homeowners reminded to perform regular checks

43 cases of fallen windows this year, homeowners reminded to perform regular checks

View of windows at a Housing Board flat. (File photo: TODAY)

SINGAPORE: There were 43 cases of fallen windows in the first 11 months of this year, mostly involving casement windows, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Housing Development Board (HDB) said on Saturday (Dec 11).

According to the joint release, 22 cases involved casement windows, 16 were sliding windows and five were other window types such as louvre windows.

There were also no injuries from the cases reported, said BCA and HDB. 

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.

BCA and HDB advised homeowners to check that fasteners 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.

The authorities said window panels detach and fall when "excessive outward force" is applied when opening or closing them. Homeowners were advised to ensure such stoppers and angle strips are in place, and promptly replaced when worn out.

During the same period this year, BCA said it was alerted to 12 cases of windows that were not well-maintained and on the verge of becoming dislodged.

"For public safety, BCA worked with HDB in engaging owners of these cases to quickly appoint an approved window contractor to check and repair their windows," said the authorities. 

BCA group director for building resilience Thanabal Kaliannan said: "As Singapore has many high-rise buildings and a dense built environment, each fallen window is dangerous that could potentially cause death or serious injuries.

"All homeowners and occupants can play a part to mitigate this risk by checking and maintaining their windows regularly."

Homeowners who have not replaced all aluminum rivets in casement windows with stainless steel ones could be fined up to S$5,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.

In cases of fallen windows due to lack of maintenance, homeowners may face a fine of up to S$10,000, up to one year in jail, or both. 

Since 2006, a total of 388 people have been fined and 92 prosecuted for fallen windows.

Source: CNA/jt(zl)

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