ARLINGTON, Va. - New Hampshire approved licensing for its more than 5,000 gas fitters by passing Amilia's Law (HB 1711), which will be in effect as of Jan. 1, 2007. New Hampshire's executive and administration departments unanimously supported the legislation, chaired by Sen. Joseph D. Kenney, stating that in New Hampshire contractors must use technicians who "have had mandatory training and are licensed to ensure proper installation and repairs of gas systems."

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) technician certification is a component of this licensure requirement. Amilia's Law makes New Hampshire the first state to include NATE certification as a component of a state's licensing law. In 2005, the city of Terre Haute, Ind., became the first U.S. city to require NATE certification of technicians as a component of contractor licensing.

Amilia's Law establishes procedures and guidelines for licensure of fuel gas fitters in New Hampshire, provides the public a way to recognize fuel gas fitters, provides employers with a formal structure to train employees and test their knowledge and skill levels, and provides technicians with the knowledge to properly perform their jobs. Propane fitters also are required to be licensed by the state.

Amilia's Law is named for Amilia Lurhmann. In May 2003, a leaky gas fixture caused the family's home to explode. Amilia was killed, and her parents, two siblings, and grandparents were injured in the blast.

"Amilia's Law will help prevent tragedies like this from happening again by requiring all fuel gas fitters to be uniformly trained and licensed," said Sen. Kenney. "Contractors and homeowners will know that the people who are installing gas systems in their homes are properly trained and can do the job right."

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Publication date: 09/18/2006