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2018

Make Window Safety your priority

- Homeowners can prevent falling windows by regularly practising three simple tips

Singapore, 12 December 2018 - The windows in our homes can deteriorate over time due to wear and tear. Without regular maintenance, windows may potentially dislodge, or even fall off. Falling windows, like killer litter, pose a great threat to public safety and can result in serious consequences for the community.

The latest statistics by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Housing & Development Board (HDB) showed that there were 46 cases of fallen windows in the first 11 months of this year. Of these, 23 cases involved casement windows, 19 were sliding windows and 4 were other window types such as louvre windows. Fortunately, there were no injuries arising from the cases reported.

"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. Yet, 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. With a safety-conscious mindset and proactive efforts, we can prevent our windows from falling, and make our home and living environment safe for our family and our community," said Er. Lim Beng Kwee, BCA’s Director of Enforcement and Structural Inspection Department.

The key causes of fallen casement and sliding windows from investigations of the reported cases are:

a. Most fallen casement windows were found fitted with aluminum rivets which have corroded. Corrosion compromises the strength of the rivets, rendering them unable to hold the window panels firmly in place. Since 2004, homeowners have been required to replace all aluminum rivets in casement windows with stainless steel ones.

b. Most fallen sliding windows were due to the lack of proper safety stoppers and angle strips in place to ensure that the window panels are kept within the tracks. Such window panels detached and fell when homeowners applied additional outward force when opening or closing the windows. For safe sliding windows, homeowners should ensure safety stoppers and angle strips are in place and promptly replace any worn out ones.

Homeowners and occupants can prevent falling windows from happening by making window safety a priority. They can do their part by checking and maintaining their windows at least once every six months by following these three steps:

Casement Windows Sliding Windows
Check: that fasteners are not rusty or loose. that safety stoppers and angle strips are in their proper place.
Clean: oil joints or moving parts. the tracks and ensure window panels can slide smoothly.
Change: all rivets from aluminium to stainless steel by engaging an approved window contractor. worn-out safety stoppers and angle strips by engaging an approved window contractor.

A list of BCA-approved window contractors and window maintenance tips can be found at:
- https://www.bca.gov.sg/Window_Safety/
- http://www.hdb.gov.sg/window_safety

Homeowners can face a penalty of up to S$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. This requirement has been in place since 2004. In addition, if a window falls 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.

Falling windows are a hazard to all in the community, and homeowners must do their part to prevent this from happening.

Issued by the Building and Construction Authority on 12 December 2018

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (485KB .pdf).