Proposed legislation, aimed at preventing window falls, failed in the Iowa House of Representatives Wednesday after initially passing the Iowa Senate. Senate File 381 (SF381) was sidelined for the remainder of the year mere days before the start of National Window Safety Week.

Driven by the death of four-year-old Hannah Geneser, who fell from a window in 2011, SF381, or “Hannah’s Law,” is “an act requiring the [Iowa] state building code commissioner to adopt standards and requirements for window fall prevention devices for windows installed in certain multifamily dwellings, hotels and motels, making penalties applicable and including effective date provisions,” according to the bill initially proposed by Sen. Janet Petersen, (D-Des Moines).

Though the bill may not be reconsidered until next January, window suppliers are taking the safety precautions necessary to prevent future falls.

“Tragic window falls can happen in just seconds,” says Donna Stein-Harris, senior director of Safe Communities America for the National Safety Council (NSC). “When it comes to window safety, there is no substitute for the importance of adult supervision of children to help keep them safe.”

With the start of National Window Safety Week, which runs April 7-13, 2013, and is organized by NSC, suppliers say education is a key element for reducing the number of window falls.

“Children should be taught at a young age to stay away from windows for their own safety,” says Gary Pember, vice president of marketing for Simonton Windows. “Parents can help safeguard children in the home by keeping furniture (including cribs) and anything else a child can climb on, away from windows.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics says, “These injuries are an important pediatric public health problem, and increased prevention efforts are needed, including development and evaluation of innovative prevention programs.”

Just how are suppliers working to create safer windows? Marvin Windows and Doors says it is offering a factory-installed window opening control device on its Ultimate Casement line of crank-out windows, as well as a field-applied option on the Ultimate Double Hung window. The window opening control device is intended to limit window openings to 4 inches, yet is easily opened by adults, according to the company.

“We expect this intuitive device to be well received as a solution,” says Christine Marvin, director of marketing for Marvin Windows and Doors. “We’re certain that builders and homeowners across the entire housing spectrum will appreciate the value of a high-quality, factory-installed window control opening device for casement products.”

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