Twenty-eight cases of fallen windows were reported in the first five months of the year, higher than the average seen for the past five years, prompting the authorities to remind homeowners to conduct regular maintenance.
The cases involve 13 casement windows, 14 sliding windows, and one incident involving an unspecified model, according to a joint press release from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Housing and Development Board.
While no injuries were reported, the number this year is higher than the past five years' average of 24 cases of fallen windows recorded between January and May.
“We would like to remind all homeowners and tenants to regularly maintain their windows at least once every six months. This applies to all window types, including casement, sliding or louvered windows, and even if their windows were installed or have been retrofitted with stainless steel rivets,” said Mr Er Lim Beng Kwee, director of BCA’s special functions group.
BCA and HDB said most of the casement windows fell because their aluminum rivets had corroded, resulting in the rivets not being able to hold the window panels firmly in place.
Most of the sliding windows fell as they could not slide smoothly along the tracks due to lack of maintenance. They also did not have proper safety stoppers and angle strips in place to ensure that the panels are kept within the tracks.
These cases could have been prevented, the authorities said, if the windows were maintained well and parts replaced where necessary, such as by switching the aluminum rivets for those made with stainless steel.
Homeowners should also check that the rivets and fasteners of casement windows are not rusty or loose. Safety stoppers and angle strips of sliding windows should also be in place and not damaged.
Homeowners who fail to replace rivets in casement windows with stainless steel rivets face a fine up of to S$5,000 and/or up to six months’ jail. If a window falls due to lack of maintenance, homeowners can face a fine of up to S$10,000 and/or a year in jail.
Since 2006, 307 people have been fined and 81 prosecuted for fallen windows.