How To Ensure Your Commercial Property’s Electrical Systems are Compliant

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Since commercial buildings are often multi-purpose complexes that are visited and used by many people for various reasons, they require more sophisticated systems to keep them running effectively, compared to private and residential dwellings.

There are requirements for emergency lighting systems, fire alarm and sprinkler systems, complicated lift setups, security systems and systems to ensure the cleanliness and sanitation of a building, and more.

There are regulations to ensure that specified systems installed in buildings are in good working order so that people can use commercial buildings without any risk to their health and safety.

Therefore, it makes sense that rules and regulations also apply to the tradespeople who carry out, inspect and certify any building maintenance and repair work as well.

How and when to certify the systems in your building?

If you are constructing a new commercial building, you will usually need to apply for a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) as part of your consent process, or a Certificate of Acceptance (CoA) in the case of unconsented building work, from your local council authority.

When the council is satisfied that all specified systems are functional and fit fur purpose, they will issue a compliance schedule with a compliance schedule statement that is valid for the first 12 months of a building’s life.

The compliance schedule lists the inspections, maintenance, and reporting procedures that your specified systems (such as lifts, fire alarms, and air conditioning) need to meet, which needs to be displayed in a visible location.

After 12 months, this statement must be replaced with a Building Warrant of Fitness.

What is a Building Warrant of Fitness?

A Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) is an annual certificate that confirms that all the specified systems in your building have been inspected and maintained, and that the requirements of the compliance schedule have been met. This must be displayed within the building’s public area, and a copy provided to your council authority with supporting Independent Qualified Person (IQP) certificates of compliance.

How do I ensure compliance?

As a building owner, to ensure you comply with all the regulations and following the requirements set out in your building’s compliance schedule, you need to engage an Independent Qualified Person (IQP) to inspect and certify the specified systems.

Most specified systems require complex inspection and maintenance procedures to be carried out by IQP’s at least annually, but in some cases more frequently, such as six-monthly or quarterly.

To get a BWOF, Form 12A’s are required, which certify that this inspection, maintenance, and reporting of the compliance schedule has been carried out, and these can only be issued by IQP’s.

It is important to keep reports detailing the inspections, maintenance, and repairs from the IQP’s who carry at work, with the compliance schedule, for at least two years after they have been issued.

What is an Independent Qualified Person (IQP)?

An IQP is a building specialist that has been identified as qualified to inspect and report on specified building systems like fire sprinklers, automatic doors, lifts, smoke detectors, escalators, air conditioning systems, and more.

They are trained and qualified to follow the requirements set out in your building’s compliance schedule, maintain the systems to perform and operate effectively and to supply any supporting documentation required to confirm compliance, such as certifications of compliance or Form 12A’s. They are considered ‘independent’ meaning they have no financial interest in the building.

What happens if I don’t use IQP’s to certify my systems and ensure I have a BWOF in place? 

If you don’t display a BWOF or display a false one, you can be fined up to $20,000, and if your BWOF has expired, you may be prosecuted. Instant fines can also be issued, ranging from $250 to $1000.

If you use or allow the use of a building that is not safe or sanitary or has inadequate fire escape means, it is an offence carrying a fine of up to $100,000.

French Electrical have IQP registered and qualified electricians or technicians able to assist you in complying with your building warrant of fitness compliance schedule. As we are IQP Registered, we can offer insurance appraisals and ten-year property plans for schools.

 

USE FRENCH ELECTRICAL FOR TOP QUALITY ELECTRICAL WORK

With more than 40 years of experience providing electrical services in the Auckland region, French Electrical has a proven history of delivering quality craftsmanship and top-notch customer service.

Do you need inspection, maintenance, or repair work carried out at your commercial property? Get in touch with us today for a no-fuss, no strings attached discussion on how we can best help you.

Give us a call on 09 274 8082, email us at info@frenchelectrical.co.nz or fill out our online enquiry form, and a member of the team will be in touch with you shortly.

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