Over 45 cases of fallen windows were recorded in 2018 by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) here in Singapore. Majority of these cases (which can cause a fine of up to $10,000 or even jail) were due to lack of maintenance and negligence on part of home owners.
Be it maintenance of existing windows or fitting of new ones, Approved Window Contractors are the ideal choice for your Condo or HDB unit’s Windows and Grilles. So, if you are a concerned owner who wants a good set of Windows and also have peace of mind of adhering to regulations, then this post is just for you….
Ensure Window Safety
Singapore being a land scarce place, most of the housing here is high rise. Hence window safety is of extreme importance. All windows are subjected to wear and tear, may detach and fall when parts become loose or corroded, hence home owners are required to ensure safety at all times. Engaging Approved Window Contractors who are knowledgeable to do the inspections and repair works is thus the best option.
In the same vein, when doing renovations or refurbishing your home it is ideal that new windows get installed as per recommended best practices and guidelines from BCA & HDB. Hiring a contractor who is qualified and well-versed with such nuances helps a long way in better upkeep and durability of windows and grilles of your home.
Some Benefits of hiring a BCA / HDB Approved Window Contractor.
- Experienced & Trained Professionals – You as a customer can rest assured that installation or retrofitting of the windows are done by well-trained professionals who have completed the ‘Safety on Windows” course.
- Quality of Service – Contractors are obliged to provide quality services to the customers as this reflects on their credibility and registration with the authorities.
- Peace of Mind – Regular checks and follow ups by the contractors under the guidance of the authorities, give you a peace of mind that all safety measures are followed and maintenance tips for the windows are provided to you on a regular basis.
Who is an Approved Contractor and What does it entail to be one?
An Approved Contractor is a registered company with the BCA Contractors Registry under the Regulation Workhead (RW01- Window Contractors). Only contractors that are registered under the RW01 can carry out the installation and retrofitting of windows for public and private housing.
Criteria to be an Approved Contractor are:
- Must have at least 2 trained window installers in the firm as a prerequisite for registration.
- Be a trained window installer, the person must attend a training course on ‘Safety on Windows” conducted by HDB.
- Has to pass a written test and a skill verification test on the installation of windows to be certified as a trained window installer.
- Practical experience of at least 12 months in window installation and retrofitting skills are a must to apply to qualify to register for the course.
Strict guidelines and regulations for renovation contractors
The BCA and HDB have laid down strict rules, regulations and guidelines that are enacted into law to ensure safety, security and quality of all buildings whether homes or places of work.
- Contractors are required to be approved or accredited before they are allowed to perform any type of construction, electrical, plumbing or other building related works. This includes contractors who are involved in any renovation work, including fitting out or installation of windows.
- Approved contractors are penalised with demerit points if they fail to meet the regulatory and administrative requirements during the construction and renovation process. Delinquent contractors can be delisted and prevented from providing services if they accumulate a total of 24 demerit points within 24 months.
- Other violations can lead to various penalties including suspension or total disqualification from performing services as a contractor.
BCA and HDB Initiatives to ensure well-being of Singapore homes.
The BCA continues to take serious stand on safety to ensure a built environment safe from falling windows and so on. Among the initiatives undertaken are –
- To ensure workmanship in homes is of acceptable quality and safety standards, the BCA introduced the Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS). Under the system quality of workmanship of contractors is assessed on a regular basis through regular inspections.
- HDB makes sure that all window contractors are listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractors (DRC) for any construction or renovation works that need to be carried out in the homes.
- BCA and HDB organise exhibitions and safety awareness drives to reach out to residents on window safety. Window safety campaigns are held twice a year to educate home owners and provide them with tips on simple window maintenance.
In a Nutshell
While Ministry of National Development takes all such measures to ensure safe living for Singapore residents, home owners also need to uphold the set guidelines and regulations when they want to check or retrofit their windows. Engaging approved contractors, thus makes it a win-win situation for everyone.
Together we can create a safe environment to live in!