Building Warrant of Fitness or BWOF is required to any residential or commercial for the purpose of ensuring fire safety. As it was mandated and required by the law for the safety of house, buildings or establishment. This compliance is particularly relevant to the owners of any building that is not a stand-alone house (unless the house has a cable car) because the building owner is responsible for ensuring any specified systems (which have mostly life safety systems) continue to ensure the building is safe for people to enter, occupy or work in.
Why Building Warrant of Fitness or IQP Inspections is Important?
- Obtain a compliance schedule where one is required under the Building Act. Failure to do so could result in a fine upwards of $200,000.
- Publicly display a compliance schedule statement in their building for the first 12-month period from the issue of the compliance schedule. A compliance schedule is issued by the territorial authority and states:
* the specified systems covered by the compliance schedule
and the place where the compliance schedule is held.
Ensure all the inspection, maintenance
* and reporting procedures for the specified systems stated in the compliance schedule for their building have been carried out and that those systems are performing, and will continue to perform, to the performance standards.
- Engage an Independent Qualified Person (IQP) to undertake the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures listed on the compliance schedule and issue Form 12As. Frequency of inspection varies depending on each specified system, and might be weekly, monthly, six monthly or annually
- Obtain a Form 12A certificate from their IQP verifying that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for each specified system have been fully complied with. The Form 12A can be found in the Building (Forms) Amendment Regulations 2005 (the Form 12A is officially called a ‘certificate of compliance with inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures’).
- Provide the BWoF annually to the local council (ensuring the Form 12A certificates from their IQP(s) are attached) and publicly display a copy of this for the next 12 months (until the next anniversary of the issue of the compliance schedule where a new BWoF will take its place).
- Keep the compliance schedule in the location nominated on the compliance schedule statement and BWoF. That way it and other documents are readily available for inspection by authorised people (such as council inspectors, fire service personnel and IQPs).
Other systems included are:
- Cable cars (including those for single household units)
- Specified systems from Schedule 1 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005:
- Automatic systems for fire suppression (eg, sprinkler systems)
- Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers
- Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows (eg, ones that close on fire alarm activation)
- Emergency lighting systems