Fire Separations – Safe All The Time

ARGEST Building Compliance is a (BWOF) Building Warrant of Fitness agent.

The BWoF (Form12) is based on the collection of forms 12A from all of the service providers for all of the systems listed on your building’s Compliance Schedule.

Some of these systems require regular (monthly, quarterly or bi-annual) checks, and others only a yearly inspection shortly before the re-issue of the BWoF is due.

During the year there may be changes to some of these specified systems that go unnoticed — e.g. new fibre optic cables installed by Chorus may need to go through fire separations.

The importance of getting it right

Fire can destroy any building if the design does not take account of the risk and minimise potential dangers. Below is an example of effective fire separations.

How safe are the occupants in your building right now?

  • Have there been any upgraded or new services installed in the past six months? e.g. Air conditioners, IT or Telecom cables, etc.
  • Does your BWOF compliance schedule include:
    – Fire Separations – SS15/3
    – Smoke Separations – SS15/5
  • Have all the firewalls/ceilings and smoke barriers been inspected for compliant penetration seals?
  • Do you have a ROUTINE MAINTENANCE PLAN in place to cover passive fire inspections?
  • Do you have all the evidence of compliance required for all passive fire penetration seals from your specialist fire-stopping installer, so a Form 12A can be issued for SS15/3 & SS15/5 by them?
  • Do you have a Compliance Assessment Consultant working with your existing IQP’s & service providers to provide the specialist knowledge required to ensure BWOF compliance and insurance requirements surrounding passive fire protection?
Fire separations – safe all the time

What’s wrong with this picture? Your building should be SAFE TO OCCUPY ALL THE TIME, with up-to-date repair records, maintenance reports and inspection logs available to Council.

Argest can assist you to develop/improve a long term scheduled or routine maintenance plan. This will avoid the risks the come with managing your own BWOF compliance requirements, and avoid costly last-minute remediation.

To arrange an initial observation of the passive fire/smoke separations in your building and a brief introduction to passive fire compliance requirements, simply contact the team at ARGEST Technical Services on 09 309 9419.

Now is the ideal time to review your building compliance plan for 2019

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to check you are up to date with the building compliance obligations for your property portfolio – and plan for the 2019 year.

Check your Building Compliance is up to date with this simple checklist

First, confirm that:

  • Your BWOF for each building is displayed, and current
  • Your Inspection Logs and Manual  are up to date and filed for easy access and updating
  • You have forms ready in your log book, or manual, for you and your IQP’s to record the inspections for the year ahead
  • You have a schedule for the Owner’s Inspections you will be carrying out and have added these dates to your calendar or diary
  • Any new installations have the necessary consents, and details of the new systems have been provided to Argest to get your Compliance Schedules up to date
  • Your maintenance and service contracts for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Units, Lifts, and other Specified Systems that have this as a requirement under the Building Act, are in place
  • Maintenance checks are being done on Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Units, Lifts, and other Specified Systems that have this as a requirement under the Building Act.

Cost implications of Building Compliance

When planning for your Building Compliance, you will need to consider the following in your budget for the 2019 year:

  • Your budgeted expenses will cover the likely increases in Council fees and charges for compliance services. You can check with your local council or Argest for information on your area
  • Ensure you have contingencies for council audits – both for time available, and remediation funding – as audits are increasing in frequency and depth of review.
  • Argest can provide a consulting service to assist you manage the audit process and council negotiation if required.

Finally, if you have new staff that will be completing Owner’s Inspections, or looking after your Building Compliance processes, make sure they have been trained on how to carry out and record inspections properly.  Argest can provide training on what is required under the Building Act to you, and your new staff.

If you need any help or advice on your Building Compliance, Argest is here to help

Please contact us on 0800 ARGEST or online now.