'It's not worth falling for clean windows'

With the right tools, you should be able to clean your windows without having to climb out of your house, cleaning companies said.

At The Window Cleaners, a window-cleaning company, the job is usually done from inside the flat.

Company boss Simon Recordon said: "We follow the guidelines recommended in the work at height safety courses. The workers wear harnesses and use safety lanyards when close to an open window, so there is a minimal chance of falling out.

"Safety is definitely the number one priority when doing our job as it's not worth falling out of a window just for it to be clean."

Adding that professional window-cleaning equipment is used, he said: "It is worth engaging a company to do the cleaning for you if you don't want to get yourself injured."

The equipment includes extendable poles that can be angled in different directions to reach awkward spots,

News reports have shown that foreign domestic workers are usually the ones trading their safety for cleaner windows.

In 2012, when the number of fatal falls among such workers peaked, the Manpower Ministry barred employers from letting their maids clean window exteriors unless under adult supervision and if window grilles are locked during the cleaning.

This excludes homes with windows that are at the ground level, or along the corridor.

Those who do not comply may be liable to a fine of not more than $10,000 and/or 12 months in jail. They may also be barred from hiring a maid permanently.