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. The Presidio Terrace neighborhood
    POV

    The Problem of Progressive Cities and the Property Tax

    The news that a posh San Francisco street was sold for delinquent taxes exposes the deeper issue with America’s local revenue system.

  2. Times Square, 1970.
    Life

    The New York That Belonged to the City

    Hyper-gentrification turned renegade Manhattan into plasticine playground. Can the city find its soul again?

  3. "Gift Horse"—a skeletal sculpture of a horse by artist Hans Haacke—debuted on the Fourth Plinth in London's Trafalgar Square in 2015.
    Design

    What To Do With Baltimore's Empty Confederate Statue Plinths?

    Put them to work, Trafalgar Square style.

  4. POV

    Grenfell Was No Ordinary Accident

    The catastrophic fire that killed at least 80 in London was the inevitable byproduct of an ideology that vilified the poor.

  5. Equity

    The Complex Relationship Between Innovation and Economic Segregation

    It’s not just the tech industry that’s responsible for America’s stratifying cities.