Singapore

More cases of windows falling: 28 in first five months of 2017

28 cases of fallen windows in first five months of the year, almost twice the number in same period last year

Twenty-eight cases of fallen windows were reported in the first five months of this year.

The figure is almost twice the 16 cases reported in the same period last year.

Fallen casement windows and sliding windows made up 27 of the cases, according to a joint statement by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Housing Board.

Corroded aluminium rivets were the main cause for most of the fallen casement windows, while most of the sliding windows fell as they were not well maintained and could not slide smoothly along the tracks.

The BCA and HDB recommended home owners regularly maintain their windows - at least once every six months - adding that the cases of fallen windows could have been prevented if the windows were well maintained and had the necessary replacements done.

Ms Lim Tay Huay, 80, a retiree who has lived in a three-room-flat in Toa Payoh for more than 40 years, said in Mandarin: "We have maintained the windows only once during our stay here, and they work fine."

Under the window retrofitting order implemented in 2004, home owners must replace all aluminium rivets in casement windows with stainless steel rivets.

They may engage a BCA-approved window contractor to make the replacement.

Failure to replace the aluminium rivets with stainless steel ones may result in a penalty of up to $5,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.Seven injuries have been reported since 2005.

No injuries have been reported so far this year.

Failure to replace the aluminium rivets with stainless steel ones may result in a penalty of up to $5,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

For cases of windows falling due to a lack of maintenance, home owners can face a maximum fine of $10,000, a jail term of up to one year, or both.

Since 2006, 307 people have been fined, while 81 people have been prosecuted for fallen windows.

A list of BCA-approved window contractors and window maintenance tips are available at www.bca.gov.sg/window_safety and www.hdb.gov.sg/windows_safety

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