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BCA and other authorities throw their hands in the air after glass shower door shatters and injures young girls

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A Singaporean mother has claimed that the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the developer and management of their building threw their hands in the air after her two young daughters were injured when they opened their shower door and the tempered glass suddenly shattered and rained down on the girls.

Revealing that the incident occurred around 5pm last Sunday, A Facebook user Tan (who has since written to this publication to request anonymity)  wrote that she and her husband were horrified to find their daughters dripping in blood after hearing a loud sound and their girls’ screams coming from the bathroom.

It turns out that the tempered glass shower door that came with their home shattered when the Tan girls opened the door. Tan wrote: “I’m sure many people are like us and we assume that it should be safe. We have always been told that they are safer than normal glass.

“Unfortunately when Ariel was opening the door, it shattered. They were not hitting the glass or playing. She then turned back, hugged Lala and thus hurt her left side. Lala was blocked and suffered minor cuts on her feet.”

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Noticing a “big hole” on her daughter Ariel’s shoulder, Tan and her husband quickly called the ambulance who rushed the girls to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. While their other daughter, Lala, has since returned to school, Ariel is still receiving treatment.

Tan wrote: “Ariel didn’t cry after the incident, she sobbed quietly when the Doctors explained the procedures. She thought about her school, her friends and her responsibilities. And her maturity pains my heart”

Tan added that the building management, developer and the BCA apparently said that they cannot take responsibility for the incident. Tan categorised the management representative as unempathetic to her situation as he simply told her that the warranty for the shower door is over.

When Tan contacted the developer, the developer allegedly admitted that they “are still using tempered glass in their current projects,” but repeated to Tan that her warranty has expired.

Frustrated, Tan contacted the BCA, who allegedly responded: “BCA is the governing body but we mainly look at structures of the building. When you signed the sales and purchase agreement, you should have known that they are using tempered glass. So you accepted the interior design and the choice of materials.”

Clarifying that she was only seeking answers over why tempered glass was used if it is so dangerous and that she was not seeking compensation, Tan asserted that the Government needs to step in and regulate the use of tempered glass in homes:

“Governing body need to step in to govern use of such materials. How will home owners know if the materials are approved or of good quality? Someone asked me “does that mean that after warranty, it is okay to shatter?”

“In fact, I was told that HDB no longer installs tempered glass in the shower. So shouldn’t we take reference from there?

“Yes, tempered glass may be considered safer but when it comes “raining” on someone, the damage done is irreversible.”

Revealing that she tracked down the tempered glass vendor who came to help their clear up the glass shards, Tan offered that those who presently have tempered glass shower doors should consider applying a protective anti-shatter film to their glass screens.

Read Tan’s full post here:

“The past few days have been difficult for us to be honest. To share still brings back memories of the incident. Yet if Tan Yuen Siang and I don’t create awareness, who will?
On 28th October around 5pm, the girls were showering. Suddenly, I heard a loud sound followed by their scream. I carried Obe and ran over to them. To my horror, both were dripping in blood. Yes, dripping. At the moment I couldn’t figure out where the cuts were but immediately got them to wash. In the chaos, i could see a big hole on Ariel’s shoulder. Having attended first aid courses, I knew it was bad.
Ys and I quickly administered first aid and we called the ambulance and my Dad. While waiting, the blood continued to soak through the gauzes despite pressure. Ariel went pale at one instant and i was so worried that i might lose her. My Dad arrived to help with Obe within 5 minutes and shortly after, the paramedics came up. They were shocked to see that even the towels were covered with blood. As the ambulance drove at lightning speed, I couldn’t help but tear.
At KKH, the doctors and nurses sprung into action. They analaysed the wounds and found that Ariel’s situation was bad. They got the consultant orthopedic in to assess. A total of 8 doctors saw to her. Thankfully, her tendons weren’t hurt and they stitched her up at her shoulder, back and hand. I didn’t even ask how many stitches as it just happened too fast. My in laws also came to the hospital to support us. Fast forward, she woke up from the ketamine jab and asked me how was she going to attend her Chinese Dance practice.
So what happened?
We have tempered glass shower screen as it came with it. I’m sure many people are like us and we assume that it should be safe. We have always been told that they are safer than normal glass. Unfortunately when Ariel was opening the door, it shattered. They were not hitting the glass or playing. She then turned back, hugged Lala and thus hurt her left side. Lala was blocked and suffered minor cuts on her feet.
We spoke to the Management after the incident happened.
“Oh Warranty is over.”
“Carton box you can take from recycling bin.”
The guy made me feel that there is no more empathy in the society anymore.
We spoke to the Developer.
“Project TOP and Warranty is over”.
I informed them that apparently we were not the first case.
“You can check with your home insurance.”
I then asked if they are still using tempered glass in their current projects. They said yes.
We spoke to BCA.
“BCA is the governing body but we mainly look at structures of the building.”
“When you signed the sales and purchase agreement, you should have known that they are using tempered glass. So you accepted the interior design and the choice of materials.”
What we were asking for wasn’t compensation or finger pointing. It’s not about money honestly. Perhaps this mindset is predominant in Singapore. And perhaps we always have to wait till someone get seriously injured then we table it for discussion. We just don’t want anyone to go through what we went through and what Ariel is going through now.
Hence, these are our suggestions.
1) If you have existing glass shower screen, please add the film that helps prevent it from shattering.
https://youtu.be/_eMD5FZQiFg
2) If you have a say, do not install tempered glass or any form of glass in the shower. It is simply too painful a price to pay.
3) If you have to agree (we are simply home seekers, can we say no?), developers should have the duty of care to install it with the protective film.
4) Governing body need to step in to govern use of such materials. How will home owners know if the materials are approved or of good quality? Someone asked me “does that mean that after warranty, it is okay to shatter?”
In fact, I was told that HDB no longer installs tempered glass in the shower. So shouldn’t we take reference from there?
Yes, tempered glass may be considered safer but when it comes “raining” on someone, the damage done is irreversible. Ariel didn’t cry after the incident, she sobbed quietly when the Doctors explained the procedures. She thought about her school, her friends and her responsibilities. And her maturity pains my heart ????
We have definitely learnt from this episode and is sharing this to raise awareness about the danger of tempered glass shower screen. We are also thankful for the visits by our friends, colleagues and family members. They also keep messaging and checking in on us ???? The girls are blessed indeed ????
Even when the warranty is over, the workers from the glass vendor came down and helped us to clear the mess. They made me feel they cared more. Respect!
Why are we posting at this time? Because she seems to have developed an allergy to the antibiotics and is having rashes ???? but we are thankful that the doctors and nurse at SKGH helped us to treat her wounds as well. The stitches really serve as a reminder to us to be better.
Update: She is resting at home ???? Thanks everyone for your concern. Lala is back in her lala land aka school.
*Our purpose of sharing once again is for awareness. We do not require any contacts or recommendations for any products. Also, we will not mention any names as we are not on a witch-hunt to get anyone*”
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