Window Maintenance and Safety


 
As HDB, Condominium or Landed Property Owner in Singapore, you are responsible for the Windows Safety and Maintenance in your home. Hence, it is important for you to check your windows regularly and repair them if necessary, to ensure that they are always safe and secure. 

Under the Building Control Order for the retrofitting of casement windows which came into effect in 2005, homeowners are required to change the aluminium rivets of casement windows with stainless steel ones. This applies to windows in all residential units, except those in landed properties and the ground floor of buildings. If homeowners fail to do so, they can be fined up to S$5,000 and/or face a jail term of up to six months. In addition, if a window falls due to lack of maintenance, they could face up to a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or jail term of up to one year. To date, 256 people have been fined for fallen windows. 

The checks and maintenance of windows should be conducted at least once every 6 months. Homeowners are also required to engage an approved window contractor to carry out any installation or repair works to their windows. 

General guide to window maintenance:

  1. Check rivets and screws and if they are made of aluminium, they should be replaced with stainless steel ones.
  2. Clean and remove dirt from the joints/moveable parts such as the hinges, sliding shoes, and track, at least twice a year.
  3. Lubricate or grease these areas, as well as the pivoting points at least once every 6 months.
  4. Check the action of the windows, clear the stiffness by applying light oil or spray lubricant to the joints/moveable parts and then open and close the windows several times.
  5. Check the glass panes for cracks or loose panes.
  6. If any part of the window (e.g. rivets, screws, safety catch, roller, rubber gasket that holds the glass pane) is loose/corroded/missing, you should engage an approved window contractor to repair the window. The repair work should ensure that: The moveable parts are properly and securely attached to the fixed frame of the window. All loose screws are tightened.
  7. For graphic details on proper window maintenance, click here.
  8. If you need to know more about how to maintain some common types of window installations, click here.

Domestic workers safety

In 2012 the Singapore ministry past new rules for window cleaning by foreign domestic workers (FDW). Employers who fail to comply may be permanently banned from hiring maids. Employers of FDWs shall not allow their maids to clean the exteriors of windows except where two conditions are met.
  1. The employer or an adult representative of the employer must be physically present to supervise the FDW.
  2. Window grilles have been installed and are locked at all times during the cleaning process.
The ministry also introduce legislation to double penalties from the current $5,000 fine and/or six months' jail to $10,000 fine and/or 12 months' jail to serve as added deterrence. 

Signing of Safety Agreement 


For FDWs who are deployed from 1 December 2012 onwards, EAs will be required to facilitate the signing of a safety agreement between employers and the FDWs, i.e. when new employment relationships are established, whether for first-time or transfer FDW. for more information on domestic works visit the mom.gov.sg 


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