In the first part of this series, we talked about windows and how they might contribute to safety for both foreign domestic workers and residents alike. In this follow-up, we want to address another domestic chore that is proving to be more dangerous than first imagined.

Hanging laundry like this might invite a fall...

Hanging laundry the old-school way. Low-tech tubular mounts are robust and fool-proof, but using them can be a fatal exercise.

I’m talking, of course, about hanging out the laundry for drying. The combination of wet, heavy fabric and awkward leverage when maneuvering the laundry pole has proven to cause fatal defenestration in a handful of cases.

Now we all know that the HDB have already implemented new laundry racks and hooks in the newer estates and flats. These certainly help to make hanging laundry safer. However, older estates still have the old tubular mounting points for laundry poles give rise to safety issues. Considering the amount of money spent in upgrading, shouldn’t we also spend some to improve safety?


Many laundry systems available today are safer and more convenient than the original tubular mounting posts. These systems come in a multitude designs, ranging from those that swing down from the ceiling, to racks that can extend outward via pulley, or hanging poles that can be pushed out manually. The common factor among all these systems is the ability to hang clothing from the comfort and safety of the kitchen or service balcony before extending them out the window. This would require a large opening, however, so we would need to make an exception to the window size proposal we put forth in part one.

Another alternative could be staggered balconies that allow sunlight to reach them. The staggered configuration would prevent the next higher balcony from blocking most of the sunlight. This idea could also be extended to dedicated service balconies, designed for maximum sunlight and wind exposure.

Another radical idea – reflectors or prisms can be used to direct sunlight at the laundry, without having to physically hang the clothes out.

For families that are not averse to using a clothes dryer, that solution would eliminate any need for sunning the laundry. Both gas and electric dryers are available, for added flexibility.

Of course, all these solutions require a concerted effort and substantial resources to implement. But, as we have pointed out in part one of this series, it is high time for a renewed focus on safety.



  One Response to “High-Rise Safety – Part Two”


    you CAN’T be ready for January…you haven’t had Christmas yet!i’m ready for Christmas!!! very ready. i’m ready to give all of these gifts and see our far away family and feel the love of them. you’re amzanig. we should really talk one of these days. or text. didn’t you get a fancy phone??? need my number again? email me. {i don’t think i should share my number here..hehe}

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