Building Warrant Of Fitness – BWOF Documentation
The safety of the occupants of your building is paramount, which is why a valid building warrant of fitness is an important document. It assures the local authority and your tenants that the specified systems in your building are functioning optimally and don’t pose any safety issues to them or the building.
A building warrant of fitness is an annual certificate that shows that all the specified systems in your compliance schedule are maintained, inspected, and reported as required by the law, according to the Building Act of 2004.
This piece will explain what a building warrant of fitness is. You’ll also know the procedure for obtaining your building’s warrant of fitness.
What Is A Building Warrant Of Fitness
If you are new to business and need to understand exactly what a Building Warrant of Fitness we’re here to help explain it. This certificate shows the building users that all the specified systems that require inspection have been inspected and are in working order. In your typical business, this would mean having automatic fire suppressing systems like sprinklers in place along with warning systems for fires (Such as automatic alarms or alarms that can be activated by people working in the building). If you’re in an office building with multiple floors, the elevators, escalators, travelators, and any other mechanical device that helps people get from one place to another will have to be inspected and be found to be in compliance with the Building Act. The complete list of systems and signs you’ll need to have looked into can be found online so that you can review which systems are relevant to your business.
A building warrant of fitness, also called BWOF, is an annual certificate that shows the level of safety of the specified systems in your building to the comfort and health of the building’s occupants. It highlights the specified systems in your building, their functionality state, and when they were last inspected, reported, and certified safe.
A BWOF requires that Independent Qualified Person, IQPs, carry out the inspection and maintenance of the particular specified system on your building’s compliance schedule.
After every building warrant of fitness bwof, you should send a copy of your certificate to the appropriate local authority and have another copy displayed publicly in your building.
Who Are IQPs?
IQPs are independent qualified persons that carry out the inspection, maintenance, and certification of a building’s specified systems. They usually have no financial interest in your building and will provide unbiased reviews and reports on the specified systems of your building.
Your local Council assigns different IQPs for the different systems in your building, as contained in your compliance schedule. Therefore, any other person not approved by the local Council to inspect your specified systems can’t provide a valid 12A for your building warrant of fitness.
Your IQP will give you a Form 12 to complete for the renewal of your BWOF. Then, they’ll come to inspect the state of your specified systems and issue a certificate for each specified system that you’ll send to the Council.
What Are Specified Systems?
Specified systems are usually listed in your building’s compliance schedule. They are the systems that enable comfort and safe living for the occupants of your building.
Although they may vary among buildings, the common ones include:
Air conditioning systems
Emergency lighting systems
Smoke control systems
Lifts and escalators
Automatic fire sprinkler systems
Fire or danger warning systems
Manual emergency warning systems
This isn’t an exhaustive list of the specified systems a building can have. There are numerous other systems, but each building’s systems may differ depending on its purpose.
What’s Your Part In Obtaining A BWOF As A Building Owner?
The building owner’s obligation is always to have a valid and up-to-date building warrant of fitness. Failure to have one publicly displayed in your building attracts some legal penalties, including huge fines.
As the building owners, you must ensure you have your Building Warrant of Fitness issued every year. Once you have been issued it, you must display it publicly in a visible location for people to see. In addition, you will have to provide a copy of your Building Warrant of Fitness and all IQP’s certificates (Form 12A) to the Council and written reports by the IQP(s) about the inspection and maintenance of your specified systems and the reporting procedures of the compliance schedule. These reports must be kept on-site for at least two years. In addition, they must be made available if territorial authorities request.
To avoid these legal penalties, you should do the following:
Contact your IQP
Your independent qualified person usually handles the inspection and maintenance of one or more of your specified systems. Therefore, you should contact them to inspect your systems before your current BWOF expires.
Only inspection reports and certifications from IQPs that territorial authority has attached to your specified systems will be considered valid.
Have them do their jobs
They’ll give you Form 12 to fill, complete their inspection maintenance and reporting, and recommend any preventative maintenance that may be required. Afterwards, they’ll issue a Form 12A certificate for each specified system operating effectively.
Send their reports and appropriate certificates to the local Council
The local Council must have a copy of your Form 12, signed by you (or acting agent), with the appropriate specified systems certificates.
Ensure that these documents get to the local Council before the expiration of your current BWOF.
Display your certificate in your building
The other Form 12 (building warrant) that you’ve signed should be displayed in a public area of your building for every occupant of the building to see.
Failure to display a Building Warrant of Fitness or posting one that is false or misleading can result in a fine of up to $20,000. Unsafe or unsanitary buildings or a building with improper means to escape in case of a fire can be fined up to $100,000
How To Obtain A Building Warrant Of Fitness For New Buildings
Attention is mostly on renewing building warrants of fitness, and little consideration is given to new buildings.
You’ll get a compliance schedule statement for new buildings containing the specified systems your building should have. Usually, this document comes after you apply for building consent.
You can display your compliance schedule on your building wall till your BWOF is available, usually in 12 months.
A building warrant of fitness is an annual certificate that shows the safety and working conditions of a building following specified systems.
A building owner must ensure that their BWOF is renewed before they expire.