Shutterstock

One less thing to worry about as your face melts off during today's record-breaking heat wave.

The heat wave that's swept the East Coast is making everyone at Atlantic Cities HQ quite miserable. But here's one thing we don't have to worry about.

As you may remember from last year's Village Voice article (written by the Atlantic Wire's own Jen Doll), it's exceedingly unlikely that an air conditioning unit will fall out of a window and onto your head. As she wrote (after some extensive Googling, newspaper reading, and calling around):

Since there seem to be few of these incidents, and fewer still reported by the cops or Department of Buildings, and zero on historical record that have actually killed anyone, we say...Worry away! This is exactly the sort of thing that takes our mind off being struck by lightning as we pass by a light post in a sudden thunderstorm while barefoot and on our cell phones.

There are, of course, a couple of unsettling anecdotes. In 2010, an air conditioner fell 15 stories and struck 24-year-old Esidra Valles in the head. He needed surgery and about 50 staples and stitches across his head and face.

He had this good advice for anyone who sees a falling unit:

"I feel like, if your air conditioner is falling, yell something," Valles said, "I heard nothing."

Also in 2010, an air conditioner struck 67-year-old Tony Franzese (who was out walking his dog) in the head after falling six stories and ricocheting off of awnings. He suffered permanent brain damage. And according to TheLoDownny:

“While being operated on, [Franzese] suffered a heart attack and went into a coma for several days,” and now “has permanent heart damage including a blood clot on the heart,” the suit says.

But silver lining - Franzese was able to successfully sue the building's landlord for millions, because he failed to properly secure the unit.

Photo credit: Heliosphile /Shutterstock

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    The Problem With a Coronavirus Rent Strike

    Because of coronavirus, millions of tenants won’t be able to write rent checks. But calls for a rent holiday often ignore the longer-term economic effects.

  2. Coronavirus

    Why Asian Countries Have Succeeded in Flattening the Curve

    To help flatten the curve in the Covid-19 outbreak, officials at all levels of government are asking people to stay home. Here's what’s worked, and what hasn't.

  3. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  4. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

  5. photo: A waterfront park in Macau.
    Coronavirus

    Longing for the Great Outdoors? Think Smaller.

    Access to parks, nature, and wildlife is critical for physical and emotional well-being. Now some city dwellers sheltered at home must find it in new ways.  

×