High winds cause window blowout

The collapsed window at Michelle's house. Photo: Supplied 228975_01

By Alesha Capone

A Tarneit resident was shocked after recent strong winds caused a bedroom window to collapse in her house, leaving a “massive hole” in the wall.

Michelle, who did not want her surname used, said she feared the cave-in could have caused a serious injury or fatality if someone had been hit by the falling window.

Michelle and her partner moved into the house, which they purchased off the plan, in November 2019.

The window collapsed on January 25, about 1.10pm, on a day in which Melbourne experienced wind speeds up of to 54km/h.

Michelle said she only found out that the window had fallen down after receiving a call from her neighbour.

“When we came home, there was a massive hole in our bedroom … the window was 1.8 metres by 3 metres,” she said.

“We set up our computer next to that window and my dogs love to sleep by the window because of the breeze.

“Just the thought of that happening when we were at home and if the window fell on any of us, it could easily cause serious injuries.”

Michelle said that a builder, building inspector and subcontractors she had since contacted about the window all said: “I have never seen anything like this before”.

“Both the subcontractors and building inspector told me that the window was only attached by small fixing nails and there were no proper screws sighted to secure the window properly,” she said.

“They explained to me that supposedly there should be screws on each side of the windows and the top as well to ensure the window is secured against the frame.

“I agreed with their assessment as the nails they used seemed to be too small to hold a massive and heavy window.

“It is hard to believe … this happened because of some missing screws, a seemingly simple mistake yet can cause fatality when someone is at the wrong place and the wrong time.”

She said the house remained under a builder’s warranty, so she and her partner do not have to pay to fix the window.

But she was speaking out because she did not want the same thing to happen to others.

“I hope my story can inspire others to ensure their builders install their windows the proper way,” she said.

“Furthermore, I hope all contractors and builders know that sometimes the short cut they do or ‘good enough’ may cause unfortunate things to happen in future and they are not the ones who are paying the price at the end.”