Over half of the cases, at 32, involved casement windows, while 16 involved fallen sliding windows. One case involved louvre windows. No injuries were reported from these cases.
Singapore saw 49 cases of fallen windows during the first 11 months of 2020, revealed the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in a joint release with the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Friday (11 December).
Over half of the cases, at 32, involved casement windows, while 16 involved fallen sliding windows. One case involved louvre windows.
BCA and HDB noted that no injuries were reported from such cases.
“Over the past few years, the number of fallen window cases we see yearly remains at about 50 cases. While there has not been an increase in numbers, there has also not been any improvement,” said Lee Chee Weye, Director of Façade Engineering and Technology Department at BCA.
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BCA’s investigations showed that the key causes of fallen casement windows included corroded aluminium rivets.
“Corrosion compromises the strength of the rivets, rendering it unable to hold the casement window panels firmly in place,” said the release.
Since 2004, BCA has issued a retrofitting order requiring homeowners “to replace all aluminium rivets in casement windows with stainless steel ones”.
For fallen sliding windows, investigations showed that there was a lack of proper safety stoppers as well as angle strips to keep panels within the tracks.
Without these safety features, sliding window panels “detached and fell when homeowners applied excessive outward force in opening or closing the windows”.
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Homeowners who fail to replace aluminium rivets in casement windows with stainless rivets face a fine of up to $5,000 and/or be imprisoned for up to six months.
If a window falls due to lack of maintenance, homeowners can face a fine of up to $10,000, be imprisoned for up to a year, or both.
The agencies said that 378 people have been fined, while 92 people have been prosecuted since 2006 for fallen windows.
“The risk of injury from falling windows is high and is not a trivial matter. All homeowners and occupants can play a part to mitigate this risk by checking and maintaining their windows regularly. Together, we can keep our community safe.” said Lee.
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