Some unit owners do not pay much attention to items attached to their windows or left out on their balcony. As I have written in a previous blog, items left unsecured on a balcony could be carried by a strong wind and create a serious hazard below. After you read the excerpt below, you will want to ensure that items that could fall due to lack of maintenance/repair or simple inattention are at the top of your unit’s regular checklist. My heart goes out to the family who is suffering from what was probably a preventable event.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.
TORONTO — The family of a two-year-old girl who was killed by a falling air conditioner say they’re “struggling to cope” with the loss and have retained a lawyer to figure out exactly what caused the tragedy.
Slavko Ristich, a personal injury lawyer representing the family, says Crystal Mirogho was being pushed along in a stroller by her mother and siblings when the appliance fell directly on her Monday afternoon.
Police say the unit fell from the eighth floor of a Toronto Community Housing building on the city’s east side, and the toddler was rushed to hospital where she died of her injuries.
The Toronto Sun reported that “there are warnings on the TCHC (Toronto Community Housing Corporation) website about the correct installation of window air conditioners and the hazard they pose if they are ill-fitting or not approved. Written permission is required to get a window unit. It must be professionally installed according to safety regulations — and proof of that is required.
A note listed under ‘seasonal safety’ entitled ‘hazardous air conditioners’ states “Improperly installed window air conditioners are a serious safety hazard to you and your family and can fall onto other people.”
I would urge every condo board to take appropriate action to prevent such a tragedy.