Township of Upper Gwynedd, PA
Montgomery County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Upper Gwynedd 7-25-1977 by Ord. No. 77-7. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 49-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as an "Ordinance Regulating Police and Fire Alarm Users."

§ 49-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards and regulations applicable to police and fire alarm systems, alarm installers and alarm users, as defined in this chapter.

§ 49-3 Definitions and word usage.

A. 
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words used in the plural number include the singular number; and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER
Any person, firm or corporation who sells or leases or installs automatic protective devices.
ALARM INSTALLER
Any individual who engages in the altering, installing, leasing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, selling or servicing of emergency police and fire alarm systems (automatic protective devices). Also, any business entity which is so engaged.
ANSWERING SERVICE
A telephone answering service, providing among its services the service of receiving on a continuous basis through trained employees emergency signals from alarm systems and thereafter immediately relaying the message by live voice to the communications center of the Township Police or Fire Department.
AUDIBLE ALARM
Any device, bell, horn or siren which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building and emits a warning signal audible outside the building and designed to attract attention when activated by criminal act or other emergency requiring the Police or Fire Department to respond.
AUTOMATIC PROTECTIVE DEVICE
An electrically operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which automatically transmits a prerecorded voice alarm over regular telephone line by indirect connection to the Police or Fire Department upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of an intrusion or other emergency.
CENTRAL STATION PROTECTIVE SYSTEM
A protective system, or group of such systems, operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation, which maintains, supervises and accepts recorded messages from automatic protective devices at a central station having trained operators and guards in attendance at all times that have the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of messages by designated or direct trunk line to the communications center of the Police or Fire Department.
CHIEF OF FIRE DEPARTMENT
Chief of Fire Department shall mean the Chief of the West Point Volunteer Fire Company in Upper Gwynedd Township or the person in charge.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of the Upper Gwynedd Township Police Department or the person in charge.
DESIGNATED TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the communications center of the Police or Fire Department that is for the primary purpose of handling emergency messages which originate from automatic protective devices and are transmitted directly or indirectly through an intermediary.
DIRECT TRUNK LINE
A nonlisted, directly connected telephone line leading from an intermediary to the communications center of the Police or Fire Department that is for the primary purpose of handling emergency messages on a person-to-person basis.
FALSE ALARM
The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or of his employees or agents. Such terminology does not include, for example, alarms caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or other violent conditions.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
The West Point Volunteer Fire Company in Upper Gwynedd Township.
INTERMEDIARY
A central station protective system or an answering service, as herein defined.
KEY
To use a telephone line and equipment for transmitting a message either directly or indirectly by an automatic protective device.
PERMIT
Written permission duly granted to an applicant by the Chief of Police upon payment of the required fee.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Upper Gwynedd Township Police Department.
PRIMARY TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the communications center of the Police or Fire Department that is for the purpose of handling emergency calls and no other calls on a person-to-person basis, and which line is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory.[1]
SECONDARY TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the communications center of the Police or Fire Department that is for the purpose of handling administrative and other calls on a person-to-person basis, and which line is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory.[2]
SECRETARY
The Secretary of the Township of Upper Gwynedd.
[Added 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Upper Gwynedd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
[Added 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
TREASURER
The Treasurer of the Township of Upper Gwynedd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
[Added 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 49-4 Alarms without timing mechanisms prohibited.

[Amended 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
Except as provided in Subsections A and B of this section, owners or lessees of premises equipped with audible alarms must equip such audible alarms with a timing mechanism that will disengage the audible alarm after a maximum period of 15 minutes and remain disengaged until the alarm is serviced or reset. Audible alarms without such a timing mechanism shall be unlawful in the Township and must be deactivated by the owners or lessees of the premises within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter. The following shall be excepted from the provisions of this section:
A. 
Audible fire alarm signals provided for the evacuation of occupants, industries, institutions and other similar premises.
B. 
Audible signals provided to indicate water flow in automatic fire-sprinkler systems.

§ 49-5 Direct calls from automatic protective devices.

A. 
No automatic protective device shall be programmed to call a primary or secondary trunk line after the effective date of this chapter.
B. 
Within 90 days after the effective date of this chapter, all automatic protective devices programmed to call a primary or secondary trunk line shall be disconnected. The owner or lessee of such device shall be responsible for having the device disconnected within the ninety-day time period.

§ 49-6 Use of intermediary services.

A. 
Persons owning or leasing an automatic protective device may have the device interconnected to a telephone line transmitting directly to:
(1) 
A central station;
(2) 
A modified central station; or
(3) 
A licensed answering service.
B. 
The relaying of messages by intermediate services to the Police or Fire Department shall be over primary trunk lines.
C. 
Automatic protective devices may also be interconnected to one or more telephone numbers available to the owner or lessee of the devices, or their designated representatives, at another location.

§ 49-7 Remote-control fences and gates.

[Amended 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
Owners or lessees of premises equipped with gates, fences or other similar apparatus designed to prevent entry, which are electronically controlled from a location such as a residence or other principal building, shall ensure that, when an audible alarm or automatic protection device is activated, the gate, fence or other apparatus shall open to allow entry of the police, Fire Department or rescue company.

§ 49-8 Operational requirements for alarm devices.

Automatic protective devices installed in the Township shall meet the following requirements:
A. 
The type and content of recorded messages must be intelligible and in a format approved prior to installation by the Chief of Police.
B. 
No more than one completed call shall be made as a result of a single activation of the automatic protective device.
C. 
The time for transmitting each recorded message shall not exceed 15 seconds.
D. 
Recorded messages may be repeated during one call, but the interval between each recorded message shall be no less than eight seconds nor more than 12 seconds.
E. 
The sensory mechanism used in connection with an automatic protective device must be adjusted to suppress false indications of intrusion so that the device will not be activated by impulses due to fleeting pressure changes in water pipes, short flashes of light, the rattling or vibrating of doors and windows, vibrations to the premises caused by the passing of vehicles or any other force not related to genuine alarms.
F. 
All components comprising such a device must be maintained by the user in good repair to assure maximum reliability of operation and shall be inspected at least one time per year.

§ 49-9 Information to be supplied to users; exception.

Each alarm equipment supplier who sells or leases an automatic protective device in the Township after the effective date of this chapter shall furnish operating instructions, a circuit diagram and a maintenance manual to the user, unless the supplier maintains the system under a maintenance contract.

§ 49-10 Registration by alarm user required.

[Amended 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
It shall be unlawful for a property owner, lessee of a property or a person otherwise occupying any premises within the Township of Upper Gwynedd to put an automatic protection device or audible alarm system into operation on his premises or to allow an automatic protection device or audible alarm system to be put into operation on his premises without first registering the alarm system with the Township in accordance with the provisions of § 49-13.

§ 49-11 False alarm fee.

[Amended 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
A. 
In order to defray the costs to the Township resulting from responding to false alarms, the following fees shall be imposed against the alarm user after response to each false alarm:
Number of False Alarms Within One Calendar Year
Fee
3
$50
4 to 5 (each)
$100
6 or more (each)
$300
B. 
After the alarm user has accumulated two responded-to false alarms, the Police Department shall bill the alarm user. The alarm user shall promptly forward payment to the Treasurer of the Township within 10 days of the date of the bill.

§ 49-12 Construal of provisions.

[Amended 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding pending in any court or any rights acquired or liability incurred or any permit issued or any cause or causes of action existing under the ordinances of the Township of Upper Gwynedd prior to this enactment.

§ 49-13 Procedure for registration by alarm user.

[Amended 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
A. 
Within 30 days after the effective date of this chapter, every alarm user shall register each alarm system he operates within this Township with the Township. The Township shall set, by resolution, a registration fee. This subsection does not require that alarm equipment suppliers register under this section when such alarm equipment supplier leases or provides services to alarm system users. If an alarm equipment supplier does, however, use an alarm system to protect its own premises, it shall register such system as required in this section.
B. 
The alarm user making the registration required in Subsection A of this section shall complete the registration form provided by the Township, which shall include the alarm user's name; the address of the residence or business or businesses in or upon which the alarm system has or will be installed; the alarm user's telephone number; the type of alarm system; the alarm equipment supplier selling, installing, monitoring, inspecting, responding to and/or maintaining the alarm system; the central station protective system utilized, if any; and the name and telephone number of at least two persons who can be reached at any time and who are authorized to respond to an alarm system and who shall respond and open the premises in which the system is installed.
C. 
If the alarm system is to be leased or rented from or is to be serviced pursuant to a service agreement by a person other than the person making application for an alarm user permit, the name, address and telephone number of that person must be stated in the application.
D. 
Each person submitting an application for an alarm user permit shall submit a signed statement in the following form:
I/We, the undersigned applicant(s) for an alarm user permit, intending to be legally bound hereby, agree with the Township of Upper Gwynedd that neither I/we nor anyone claiming by, through or under me/us shall make any claim against the Township of Upper Gwynedd or its officials or agents for any damage caused to the premises at which the automatic protective device or audible alarm system is located at a time when said premises are or appear to be unattended or when, in the discretion of said employees, the circumstances appear to warrant a forced entry.

§ 49-14 Compliance.

[Amended 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
Any alarm user who installs an automatic protection device or audible alarm system 30 days or more after the effective date of this chapter shall submit with the registration a certificate of an alarm equipment supplier stating that, in the opinion of such alarm equipment supplier, the automatic protection device or audible alarm system complies with this chapter.

§ 49-15 Township to be notified of changes.

[Amended 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
Any alarm user who has registered under this chapter shall promptly notify the Township of Upper Gwynedd of any change in the information supplied on the alarm user permit application.

§ 49-16 Severability.

[Added 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14]
Should any section or provision of this chapter be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such section or provision shall be deemed deleted and shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole or of any other part thereof.

§ 49-17 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 4-22-1985 by Ord. No. 85-6; 8-24-1992 by Ord. No. 92-14[1]]
A. 
Any person who shall fail to comply with the requirements of a written notice of a violation of any provision of this chapter within 10 days of receipt of such notice, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, shall be liable, on conviction thereof, to a fine or penalty of not more than $300. Such fine or penalty shall be collected as like fines or penalties are now by law collected. Such notice shall continue in force and effect until there is full compliance with the requirements stated therein, and each and every failure to comply with such notice within 24 hours after the 10 days allowed for such compliance shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Any person who owns, uses or possesses an alarm device or an automatic protective device may not, after causing or permitting three false alarms to occur in a consecutive twelve-month period, cause or permit a subsequent false alarm to occur in this same consecutive twelve-month period. Any person who violates this provision commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300. Such fine shall be collected as like fines or penalties which are now by law collected. Each such false alarm shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 12-28-1998 by Ord. No. 98-8]
C. 
Any alarm user who has installed or who has permitted to be installed an alarm system in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable, on conviction thereof, to a fine or penalty of not more than $1,000 for each and every offense, together with the costs of prosecution. Such fine or penalty shall be collected as like fines or penalties are now by law collected. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been given constitutes a separate offense.
[Amended 11-23-1992 by Ord. No. 92-15]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of this section from § 49-15 to § 49-17.