BWoF - Protect your building
Through regular comprehensive testing and maintenance services we help ensure your equipment will operate effectively in an emergency. Our service technicians are well-trained to test your equipment and Specified Systems to ensure that it fully complies with applicable New Zealand standards. Our regular testing forms part of your overall Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF) compliance at the end of each 12 month period. You can also ask us to inspect and test your Fire Extinguishers at the same time.
We have technicians on 24-hour standby; ready to undertake emergency repairs to your fire-protection systems and products.
Control Systems testing and maintenance solutions extend across a range of systems and interventions including:
- SS1 – Fire Suppression System
- SS2 – Fire Alarm and Detection Systems
- SS3.A – Automatic Doors
- SS3.B – Access Control Doors
- SS3.C – Interfaced Doors
- SS4 – Emergency Lighting
- SS8 – Elevators
- SS14.1 Emergency Power Systems (Backup Generators or UPS’s)
- SS14.2 – Signs relating to a system or feature specified in any of the clauses SS1-SS13
- SS15.a – Systems for Communicating Evacuation
- SS15.d – Signs
Below is a copy of our 2023-2024 Annual Practicing Certificate
IQP Annual Practicing Certificate
Most Specified Systems above have different inspection and testing requirements and intervals so talk to us today about tailoring a Service and Maintenance Agreement (SMA) that suits your Specified Systems, and make your BWoF easy and costs transparent!
We also install:
- Portable Fire Fighting equipment (including fire extinguishers and hose reels)
- Electrical Cabinet Suppression Systems
The Building Warrant of Fitness system:
Some, or most commercial buildings have systems installed or constructed in them to assist the occupants in the day-to-day use of the building or to assist in an emergency when evacuation is needed. These systems are critical to the safe use of these buildings so they need to be maintained to ensure they operate correctly if and when they are needed. The Building Act 2004 sets out a list of systems that are such and they have been called the Specified Systems. To allow MBIE and regional councils to make sure these buildings with Specified Systems are safe they have the Building Warrant of Fitness process or BWoF. Each building that has any Specified System must have a Compliance Schedule which is simply a list of the Specified System(s) and the performance standard they were installed to, how they need to be maintained, and by whom. If these systems were installed pre-2004 it is the building owners’ responsibility to notify their respective Council and have these Specified Systems added to their Compliance Schedule. This is best done by a company that knows these systems and deals with the council’s Compliance Officer on a regular basis. Control Systems can provide great support around your current Compliance Schedule and Specified Systems or any new additions.
For more information about the Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF) process for commercial buildings please click here.
For more information about Compliance Schedules for commercial buildings please click here.
Consultancy and Compliance
Control Systems are able to offer a consultancy service to assess a vast range of Fire Alarm systems, Emergency Lighting systems, interfaced and controlled doors, as well as elevators for domestic and small commercial buildings, to help ensure they are fit for purpose, safe, adequately maintained in good working order and compliant with relevant standards and regulations.
Control Systems has a number of partners in the industry that dovetail into our core offering to allow us to provide you with a comprehensive range of specialised services including:
- BWoF (Building Warrant of Fitness) administration
- Fire Protection engineering
- Condition Assessments
- Hand Operated Fire Fighting Equipment design
- Asset testing and reporting
What do I need to know about Building Compliance?
Almost all commercial buildings will have a compliance schedule which has been issued by the local council (territorial authority). The compliance schedule details a list of specified systems which must be tested and maintained to certain standards. Specified systems can include, but not limited to, fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, emergency lights, lifts and mechanical ventilation. Passive systems such as signage, fire and smoke separations may also be included. These specified systems are designed to assist and protect people in an emergency. To view a list of specific systems visit the Building.govt.nz website, or contact us here at Control Systems.
Testing and inspection frequencies range from daily to yearly depending on the system, and some of these tests and inspections can be completed by the owner. However most of testing and inspections must be done by an IQP (Independently Qualified Person or organisation) such as the team at Control Systems. An IQP is a person who is accepted by a territorial authority, as being qualified to carry out or supervise all or some of the inspection, maintenance, and reporting procedures required for a specified system stated on a compliance schedule. An IQP can certify that those procedures have been fully complied with and signs off a legal document to verify this each year.
Detailed records of testing and inspections must be kept, as your council may carry out random audits and will expect to see a dedicated Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) folder detailing that these have been completed. The audits are conducted to ensure on going compliance.
A copy of the compliance schedule and all documentation relating to the testing should be stored in your BWoF folder.
Who is responsible for Building Compliance?
Under the Building Act 2004 the building owner is responsible for producing a building warrant of fitness on the anniversary of the compliance schedule. However the building warrant of fitness can only be issued if all the requirements relating to testing, inspection and maintenance are complete. Often the building owner entrusts this responsibility to the tenant who may be responsible under their lease for all outgoings.
Often a building owner can engage an agent to act on their behalf to carry out the job of compiling all the required information from all the IQP’s and filing the documentation with the Council and issue the Building Warrant of Fitness. Engaging an agent takes all the hassle out of the whole process for very little cost. Control Systems can offer this service for any of its clients.
Failure to produce a building warrant of fitness can lead to a notice being issued by the council to rectify outstanding issues; alternatively you may receive a fine. Failure to comply with the regulations could also have wider implications; especially if there is a fire and the building is non-compliant, this could affect the building insurance coverage.
Why have Building Compliance?
The Building Act 2004 is law and requires that systems designed to protect people and property (such as fire systems) are maintained and tested so that they work in an emergency and allow occupants to escape from potential hazards.
For any specified system in a building, for example SS2 Emergency Warning system (Fire alarm), the compliance schedule must state the testing frequency and the relevant NZ Standard that the system complies with. With such a diverse range of systems and age of these systems the individual requirements can differ.
If you are unsure, contact Control Systems and one of our skilled team can visit your site to advise of your relevant requirements.
What if I add a new Specified System (SS)?
Where a new specified system is incorporated into a building, whether during initial construction or at a later time, the compliance schedule will need to be updated to include the new information and testing and inspection regime for that specified system. A new specified system will require building consent from your local council and most likely a Fire Safety Design. Control Systems can work with you through this process as we have years of experience and a number of partners that can provide you with all you need to get your work underway. If you are modifying an existing specified system talk to us as the degree of the modification may be able to be a simple amendment to the council file instead of a new building consent which would be needed for a major alteration. The amendment process is completed using a ‘Form11’ and all relevant supporting information is submitted to the council.
Control Systems are able to assist with any requirements relating to the ‘Form11’.
What is the Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF)?
The Building Warrant of Fitness is a document (officially known as a Form 12) issued by an IQP, building owner or owners agent, which outlines key information on the property, legal description, owner details, and a schedule of all the specified systems that are detailed on the compliance schedule. It is usually displayed in a public part of a building, such as a reception area.
Before a BWoF can be issued a ‘Form 12a’ for each specified system must be received from the company or an IQP who tests and inspects the relevant compliance schedule features. Once the Form 12a’s are completed for all specified systems, these Form 12a’s along with a copy of the BWoF are issued to the council.
It is important that the process to collate the Form 12a’s from all suppliers is managed efficiently in order to meet the due date of the BWoF, this is where owners get the benefit of engaging an owners agent. The BWoF is valid for one year from the issue date and should be issued on the anniversary date of the compliance schedule. It is recommended arranging this prior to the anniversary date to avoid any potential complications..
It is therefore vital that any defects or remedial items that potentially could prevent the specified systems from being signed off as compliant (by IQP) are addressed in a timely manner, well in advance of the anniversary date. An IQP can carry out their inspection any time within the 3 months prior to the anniversary date of the compliance schedule. This allows time to address any defects that may require remedial work to ensure the specified system is complaint with the standard it was installed to. The IQP should not sign a Form 12a when it is known that a defect exists which could be detrimental to the operation of the specific specified system.
Control Systems facilitate the fire monitoring setup for different types of buildings and businesses. From the smallest neighbourhood shop to the largest retail centres, from workshops to warehouses, from car parks to the largest high-rise buildings.
Control Systems has access to an extensive range of products, capitalising on the latest technology from around the world. This allows us to be well positioned to provide the most up-to-date system upgrades and enhancements.
We would be delighted to discuss your safety and fire protection requirements with you and together consider how best they could be met, and then provide you with a no-obligation free quote.