TALLAHASSEE -- A bill promoting residential elevator safety, prompted by the death of a Bradenton child, is headed to its final stop in the Legislature after it passed its final House committee Thursday and the Senate floor on Wednesday.
The bill requires all newly installed residential elevators to have a sensor similar to a garage door to stop the elevator from working if it detects something in the shaft. It would apply to all residential elevators built after the law takes effect.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, heads to the House floor for a vote on an undetermined date after the House Regulatory Affairs Committee unanimously approved it Thursday morning. The Senate approved an identical version unanimously on Wednesday, which means if the House approves the same version it will head to Gov. Rick Scott's desk to be signed into law.
The law will be named after Maxwell Eric Grablin, who was 12 when he died in an accident in January 2015.
Max was looking for his pet hamster in the elevator shaft, which he did by stopping the elevator between floors so he could climb in and get the hamster. The elevator wouldn't operate while the doors were open. Somehow, the door slammed shut, which a child fatality report by the Department of Children and Families attributed to wind. When Patrick Grablin heard his son yelling from inside the shaft, he instinctively hit the button to open the door, but it also made the elevator descend on top of Max, suffocating him.
The bill passed without debate or public comment. Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, praised Steube for his work on the legislation.
"I appreciate what he's trying to do to fix this problem," Boyd said.
The law would not be retroactive to elevators installed before the bill passes.
Kate Irby, Herald online/political reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7055. You can follow her on Twitter@KateIrby