[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Northvale 7-9-1980 as Ord. No. 469-80. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards and regulations for various types of local alarms, intrusion, burglar, fire and other emergency alarm devices, whether by direct line, radio, telephone or other means actuating a device at police headquarters and requiring response thereto by the Police Department, Fire Department or other municipal agencies of the Borough of Northvale.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person who operates, maintains or owns any alarm device or local alarm designed to summon the police, Fire Department or other municipal agencies to any location in response to any type of alarm signal. The terms of this chapter shall also apply to alarm companies which provide a service by private source to other than municipal offices or agencies within or without the Borough of Northvale, and any person who shall operate, maintain or own such an alarm device shall still be responsible for the provisions contained herein, regardless of whether or not such alarm is in any way connected to the Police Department or other municipal agency.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any type of alarm system actuating equipment providing warning of intrusion, fire, smoke, flood or other peril.
- ALARM INSTALLATION
- Any alarm, device or combination of devices installed for one or more buildings at any location.
- DIAL ALARM
- That type of device used in telephone lines transmitting an alarm directly through the police switchboard.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm actuated by inadvertence, negligence or unintentional act by someone other than an intruder, and shall include as well alarms caused by malfunctioning of the alarm device or other relevant equipment.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm or device which, when activated, produces an audible signal not in any way connected to the dial alarm system in the Police Department.
- Any person owning an alarm device or a local alarm within the scope of this chapter.
- Includes any natural person, partnership, corporation, association or any other legal entity.
Except as hereinafter provided, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate or maintain an alarm device, as defined by this chapter, without having first obtained a valid permit.
Any person who owns, operates or maintains an alarm device or devices shall make application to the Chief of Police of the Borough of Northvale for a permit therefor on forms supplied by the Police Department. The application shall specify the name, address and telephone number of the owner and user of the alarm installation, the exact location of the alarm device or devices, the name and address of the installer of said device, the type of device, the name and address of the individual or firm regularly servicing said alarm device, if any, provisions relating to false alarm and testing procedures, a list of names and addresses of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm and other information relating to the alarm device reasonably required by the Chief of Police and a consent form to be signed by such person or persons as a prerequisite for a permit to be issued, which consent form shall authorize the Police Department, Fire Department or their duly authorized and designated representatives to disconnect any alarm device by whatever means possible and without any liability by said Police Department, Fire Department or their duly authorized and designated representatives to such person for damages, upon violation of the false alarm provisions of this chapter.
Application for a permit must be filed within 60 days after the effective date of this chapter, and thereafter on or before January 15 next succeeding the adoption of this chapter, for all existing or new alarm installations, which application shall be accompanied by the annual fee payable to the municipality in accordance with the schedule of fees hereinafter set forth.
All permits shall expire on December 31 of the year issued and shall not be valid after said date. A renewal permit application must be filed with the Chief of Police on or before January 15 of each year and shall be accompanied by the annual fee payable to the municipality in accordance with the schedule of fees hereinafter set forth. The renewal application, on forms supplied by the Police Department, shall provide for any changes in information from that contained in the original application or in the most recent renewal application.
The Chief of Police is the designated official of the municipality to issue and renew permits, to remove or suspend permits and to otherwise enforce and apply the provisions of this chapter.
An application for a permit or permit renewal may be denied by the Chief of Police in the event that he disapproves of the equipment intended to be used or continued by the applicant or the manner of use thereof or if the applicant has violated any other provisions of this chapter or is in default of the payment of the annual fee.
All permits as may be granted hereunder shall be accepted upon the express conditions as set forth in the application that the permittee shall defend, indemnify and save harmless the municipality and its authorized officials, agents and employees from and against any and all damages, costs, expense and liability arising out of the acts or failure to act of the municipality in disconnecting an alarm device as a result of violation of the false alarm provisions contained in this chapter.
Dial alarms shall be coded to dial a special separate number, which number can be obtained from the Chief of Police or designated representative, and no dial alarm shall be coded to dial the number of the general police switchboard of the Borough of Northvale. All dial alarms existing at the time of the passage of this chapter shall have 30 days within which to be recoded to dial the within-mentioned special separate number.
The total length of any message must not exceed 15 seconds.
All messages must conform to the approved format on the application form as supplied by the Chief of Police of the Borough of Northvale.
Messages shall be received by the Police Department no more than two times for each given alarm.
The device must provide an automatic line seizure feature in the event that the special separate phone number is busy with an incoming or outgoing call.
Any person having a dial alarm device which dials the general police number, upon discovery thereof, shall receive notice, in writing, from the Chief of Police or his designated representative requiring the owner to comply with the terms of this chapter. If the owner fails to do so within 30 days of the receipt of said notice, he shall then be liable pursuant to the violation provisions of this chapter.
All components of such equipment must be maintained by the owner in good repair, and when evidence exists that there has been failure to comply with the operation or the requirements of this chapter, the Chief of Police or his designated representative is then authorized to demand that such device be disconnected until such time as compliance with the current requirements is reestablished.
The sensory mechanism of such devices shall be adjusted so as to suppress false indications and not to be actuated by impulses due to pressure changes in water pipes, short flashes of light, wind, noises, rattling or vibration of doors or windows or other forces unrelated to general alarms.
Owners of dial alarm devices shall be governed by the false alarm procedures and penalties set forth in this chapter.
Local alarms shall be permitted, but it shall be unlawful for any local alarm to ring or put forth any other sound for a period in excess of 10 minutes. Any violation of this requirement shall be punishable in accordance with § 61-10.
Local alarms shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Persons having local alarms shall be required to leave with the Police Department the name of the person who can be reached in case of malfunction of the equipment in order that the device can be temporarily disconnected. In the event of the malfunction of equipment and if no person can be located to secure the device, then the owner shall be liable pursuant to the violations and penalty provisions in this chapter.
For each false alarm of any kind communicated to the Police Department of the Borough of Northvale, a record shall be kept by the Police Department of the Borough of Northvale, and where it is determined that such false alarm originated at a permittee's premises, the following procedure shall be adhered to:
For the first and second false alarm given in any six-month period, a written warning shall be issued by the Police Department to the permittee.
For the third and any subsequent false alarm in any given six-month period, a penalty of not more than $100 shall be paid to the Borough of Northvale, and such penalty shall be payable for each false alarm subsequent to the second during the said six-month period.
[Amended 3-9-1994 by Ord. No. 667-94]
Where investigation of the Police Department discloses continued abuse of the privilege of connection or dial alarm service and a disregard of a permittee for failing to take remedial steps to avoid false alarms, the Chief of Police is empowered with the right to require disconnection from the dial alarm system for a limited or permanent time, provided that no such permit shall be revoked or suspended without giving the permittee an opportunity to show cause before the Mayor and Council why such action should not be taken by the Chief of Police.
Any person testing any alarm covered under the terms of this chapter shall notify the Police Department immediately prior to and after the testing is completed. Failure to do so shall subject the person to the general penalty for violation of this chapter.
Any unauthorized equipment may be disconnected by the Chief of Police or his designated representative for noncompliance of this chapter, and any person installing and maintaining unauthorized equipment shall be prosecuted for a violation of this chapter, and each and every day said equipment is in operation shall be considered a separate violation. Any permittee shall, by acceptance of the permit, be deemed as having consented to inspection of the premises on which any alarm device is installed at reasonable hours by the Chief of Police or his designated representative.
All alarm devices shall be installed in accordance with all applicable municipal and governmental laws, ordinances and requirements.
Any person who owns, operates or maintains an alarm device or devices shall be subject to the following fee schedule, which fees shall cover the cost of registration, testing and the amortization of the special phone line or lines required in the Police Department of the Borough of Northvale along with the ancillary tape devices at the police desk necessitated by these systems.
The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Northvale may from time to time promulgate rules and regulations supplementing this chapter in order to provide for recordkeeping and efficient management of said system.
Any person, firm or corporation found guilty in the Municipal Court of the Borough of Northvale for a violation of the terms of this chapter, excluding § 61-7, shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, General Penalties.