[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Easttown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Alarm Devices
[Adopted 11-6-1989 by Ord. No. 227-89; amended in its entirety 6-20-2011 by Ord. No. 404-11]
This article shall be known as the "Easttown Township Alarm Device Ordinance."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A communication to a public safety agency indicating that a crime, fire or other emergency warranting immediate action by the public safety agency has occurred or is occurring.
- ALARM DEVICE
- A device designed to automatically transmit an alarm:
- ALARM DEVICE SUPPLIER
- Any person who sells, leases and/or installs alarm devices.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- Any device, bell, horn or siren which is attached in the interior or exterior of a building and emits a warning signal audible outside the building and is designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring the public safety agency to respond.
- AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
- A device which is interconnected to a telephone line and preprogrammed to transmit the coded signal of an alarm to a dedicated telephone trunk line or to dial a predetermined phone number to an alarm to a public safety agency.
- DEDICATED TELEPHONE TRUNK LINE
- A telephone line or lines which serve a public safety agency which is dedicated to receiving transmission from an automatic dialing device.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm device to which a public safety agency responds when a crime, fire, or other emergency has not occurred.
- To use a telephone or recording equipment to transmit a message either directly or indirectly by alarm device.
- An individual, corporation, partnership, incorporated association or other similar entity.
- PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCY
- The Pennsylvania State Police or any municipal police or fire department.
- The Township of Easttown, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
All alarm devices which are connected to audible alarms shall be equipped with timing devices which shut off the audible alarm after a maximum period of 15 minutes. Audible alarms without such a timing device will be unlawful in the Township and shall be disconnected by the owner or lessee within 60 days of the effective date of this article.
Alarm devices shall not be keyed to the local public safety agencies but may be keyed to the Chester County Police/Fire Radio Network or any successor in interest. Permission to key the alarm devices shall be obtained in accordance with 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7511(a), as amended.
It is permissible for owners or lessees of alarm devices to key alarms to a telephone or radio which is available to them or to a private agency, subject to the regulations set forth in this article.
Alarm devices installed in the Township that are keyed to the Chester County Police/Fire Radio Network or any successor in interest shall meet the following requirements:
The type and content of recorded messages shall be intelligible and in a format approved prior to installation by the Chester County Police/Fire Radio Network or any successor in interest.
No more than one call shall be made to the Chester County Police/Fire Radio Network or any successor in interest as a result of a single activation of the alarm device.
The time for transmitting each recorded message shall not exceed 15 seconds.
Recorded messages may be repeated during one call, but the interval between each recorded message shall not be less than eight seconds nor more than 12 seconds.
The sensory mechanisms used in connection with the alarm device shall be adjusted to suppress false indications of intrusion so that the devices will not be activated by changing pressure in the water pipes, short flashes of light, the rattling or vibrations to the premises caused by the passing of vehicles or other force not related to a genuine alarm.
All components comprising such an alarm device shall be maintained by the owner or lessee in good repair to assure maximum reliability of operation.
When messages evidencing failure to comply with the operational requirements set forth in § 110-6 hereof are received by the Chester County Police/Fire Radio Network or any successor in interest and the Township concludes that the alarm device sending such messages is malfunctioning, the Township is authorized to require that the owner or lessee of the device or his representative disconnect the device until it is made to comply with the operational requirements. If this disconnection of the defective device is not accomplished within 48 hours of notification by the Township, the Township may then take appropriate action to disconnect the defective alarm device. For purpose of this provision, two or more false alarms within any thirty-day period shall be sufficient evidence for the Township to determine that the device is malfunctioning.
Alarm device suppliers shall conform to the requirements contained in the National Electrical Code.
For the purposes of enforcing this article, the Police Chief, Fire Marshal and/or the Township Manager, or their duly authorized designees, are hereby authorized to enter upon a lessee's or owner's premises upon written notice or in the event of an emergency at any time to make inspections of installation and/or operation of alarm devices.
No person shall conduct any test or demonstrations of an alarm device without first obtaining permission from the Township and/or the Chester County Police/Fire Radio Network or other successor in interest.
Alarm device suppliers and installers shall furnish, at or prior to the time of contracting and at their expense, a copy of this article to owners, lessees or users of the equipment or services to be supplied.
The Township shall comply with Pennsylvania law on false alarm enforcement. The Township hereby authorizes certain local public safety agencies, the Fire Chief for the Berwyn Fire Company and/or his designees, the Fire Chief for the Paoli Fire Company and/or his designees and the Chief of Police for the Easttown Township Police Department and/or his designees to be added to the list maintained by Magisterial District Court 15-1-02, or any other Magisterial District Court that may in the future have jurisdiction over the Township, of persons permitted to issue citations for the violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7511(c)(1), as may be amended, and directs that this article be provided to the Magisterial District Court, or courts having jurisdiction, for inclusion in that Court's database.
[Amended 10-7-1996 by Ord. No. 293-96]
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this article shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township before a Magisterial District Judge, pay a fine of not more than $600, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this article. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of the determination of the violation by the Magisterial District Judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of the Township are hereby authorized to seek equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance herewith.