New York City is facing an epidemic of children falling from windows. As of July 2023, at least six children have fallen from windows in the New York City area already this year. In April, two children fell from unguarded windows in unrelated incidents that occurred on the same day. Most recently, a 4-year-old child died after he fell from a window in Brooklyn. These falls have resulted in serious injuries and death to young children across the city. Ensuring that window air conditioning units are properly installed can prevent these tragic accidents.
Responsibilities of the Building Owner
The New York City Department of Health has regulations in place regarding the installation of window air conditioning units. Building owners are required to permanently install window air conditioning units with one-way tamper-resistant screws in apartments where children 10 and under live. The AC unit must be permanently and securely bolted to the window frame and leave no open space greater than 4.5 inches. It is recommended that secure, rigid metal panels be placed on either side of an AC unit instead of, or in addition to, accordion vinyl panels. Metal panels must be able to withstand 150 pounds of pressure without bending or breaking.
Tenants are responsible for informing building owners of children 10 and younger living in an apartment. Tenants must also complete the annual notice provided by landlords. The annual notice asks whether children 10 and younger live in a dwelling, or if window guards are requested for any reason.
Once window guards or stopping devices are installed, do not alter or remove them. Likewise, do not leave children unsupervised in rooms with windows that lack such safety measures. To file a complaint regarding a building owner, tenants can call 311 and report violations to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured in a Window Fall? We Can Help.
The experienced premises liability lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green handle cases from New York City and the surrounding metro area. We have the resources and expertise to get you the compensation you deserve. You owe nothing unless we recover damages on your behalf. Contact us for a free consultation.