City of Berkeley, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 260.010 Purpose.

[Ord. No. 3888 §1, 3-15-2010]
A. 
The purpose of this Chapter is to encourage alarm users and fire alarm contractors to properly install, use and maintain fire alarm systems in order to improve the reliability of such systems and thereby reduce or eliminate nuisance alarms.
B. 
This Chapter governs the use of fire alarm systems intended to summon the Berkeley Fire Department; requires registration of such systems; allows for the assessment of service fees; and provides for civil penalties with the Municipal Court.

Section 260.020 Definitions.

[Ord. No. 3888 §2, 3-15-2010]
As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have these prescribed meanings:
ADOPTED CODE(S)
The most recent adopted International Fire Code as amended by the City of Berkeley, Missouri, as found in Chapter 500 of the Municipal Code of the City of Berkeley.
ALARM USER
Any person, whether owner, occupant or tenant, upon whose premises a fire alarm system is maintained or operated within the City of Berkeley.
DEPARTMENT
The Berkeley Fire Department.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
The Berkeley Fire Chief or designated representative.
FIRE ALARM CONTRACTOR
Any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity appropriately licensed as a fire alarm contractor by the State of Missouri, Saint Louis County Electrical Administrative Board.
FIRE ALARM REGISTRATION
The documentation required by the Department to register a fire alarm system.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
Any device or equipment designed to signal visibly, audibly, electronically, mechanically or by any combination of these methods the presence of a heat, smoke or fire hazard to which the Department is trained to respond. The term fire alarm system does not include an alarm designed to alert only the inhabitants of a premises.
LETTER FOR EXCESSIVE NUISANCE ALARMS
A notification provided to an alarm user by the Department for two (2) or more nuisance alarms. This warning notice will require that the fire alarm system be inspected and/or serviced within fifteen (15) days and that written documentation be submitted to the Department certifying that the fire alarm system is in working order. Failure to provide this written documentation will result in a service fee for excessive nuisance alarms.
NUISANCE ALARM
The activation of any fire alarm system not caused by heat, smoke or fire, resulting in response by the Fire Department. A nuisance alarm includes, but is not limited to, activation of a fire alarm system through any of the following:
1. 
Negligent or intentional use or misuse of the system;
2. 
Mechanical failure;
3. 
Malfunction;
4. 
Improper installation; or
5. 
Tampering.
A nuisance alarm does not include an alarm caused by naturally occurring weather, seismic or other condition; interruption of electrical or telephone service to the alarm user; or malicious or criminal activity by a third (3rd) party who is not an agent or employee of the alarm user.
PREMISES
Any building, structure or combination of buildings and structures in which a fire alarm system is installed.
QUALIFIED FIRE ALARM TECHNICIAN
Any person who inspects, installs, repairs or performs maintenance on fire alarm systems and is factory trained and licensed by the State of Missouri.
RECORD OF COMPLETION
The form required to be filed with the Department pursuant to the National Fire Protection Association's National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72).
REPORT OF SERVICE/REPAIR
The appropriate documentation in a format acceptable to the Enforcement Official that verifies proper repairs or maintenance have been performed by both the fire alarm contractor and the alarm user.
SERVICE FEE
The monetary charge payable to the City of Berkeley to defray the expenses of implementing the purposes of this Chapter.

Section 260.030 Registration of Fire Alarm System.

[Ord. No. 3888 §3, 3-15-2010]
A. 
Registration Required. All newly installed fire alarm systems shall be required to be registered at the time that a record of completion is prepared, in accordance with adopted codes. The alarm user or his duly authorized agent shall complete and deliver the fire alarm registration in the required format to the Enforcement Official before the fire alarm system is activated. For all existing fire alarm systems as of the date of adoption of this Chapter, fire alarm registration shall occur not later than one hundred eighty (180) days after the effective date of this Chapter.
B. 
Change In Registration Information. When any information contained in the fire alarm registration form is no longer accurate for any reason the alarm user shall re-register the fire alarm system not later than fifteen (15) days after the alarm user becomes aware of any such change, noting all necessary changes on said registration form.
C. 
Transferables Prohibited. Fire alarm registrations shall not be transferable from one premise to another or from one alarm user to another.
D. 
Notice To Department Of Existence Of System — Notice To Alarm User. Every fire alarm contractor shall notify the Enforcement Official of the existence of a fire alarm system before the fire alarm system is put into operation. It is the responsibility of the installing fire alarm contractor to provide the alarm user with notice of the existence of this Chapter, a fire alarm registration form and a copy of the fire alarm system operation instructions in accordance with adopted codes, as well as the manufacturer's instructions.

Section 260.040 Display of Fire Alarm Registration.

[Ord. No. 3888 §4, 3-15-2010]
The fire alarm registration shall be kept on the premises serviced by the fire alarm system and shall be displayed upon request of the Enforcement Official or a member of the Department.

Section 260.050 Responsibility for Compliance — Requirement of Alarm User to Respond to Scene.

[Ord. No. 3888 §5, 3-15-2010]
A. 
Unless otherwise stated herein, the alarm user shall be responsible for complying with all provisions of this Chapter.
B. 
The alarm user or any person identified on the fire alarm registration application shall appear at the premises upon request of the Department when a fire alarm system has been activated.

Section 260.060 Nuisance Alarms.

[Ord. No. 3888 §6, 3-15-2010]
A. 
Notification To Alarm User. If the Department records two (2) or more nuisance alarms at one (1) premises within a twelve (12) month calendar year, a letter for excessive nuisance alarm shall be mailed by first class mail to the alarm user and any fire alarm contractor. Said notice shall direct that the alarm user submit a report of service/repair within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of said letter stating that:
1. 
The fire alarm system has been examined by a qualified fire alarm technician; and
2. 
A bona fide attempt has been made to identify and correct any defect of design, installation or operation of the fire alarm system which was identified as a possible cause of the nuisance alarm.
B. 
No fee shall be assessed for the first (1st) nuisance alarm at the same premises requiring response by the Fire Department during any calendar year. For service fees, see Section 260.070.
C. 
Failure of the alarm user to return a satisfactory report of service/repair to the Enforcement Official within said fifteen (15) day period shall result in the imposition of a service fee.
D. 
A fire alarm contractor, alarm user or any other individual shall not conduct testing or perform repair work on any fire alarm system, sprinkler system or fire suppression system without first notifying the Department Dispatch Center that such testing or repair work is being performed. Violation of this Subsection shall result in the imposition of a service fee.
E. 
Nuisance alarms activated by any components connected to the fire alarm system shall be included in computing the total number of nuisance alarms for purposes of this Chapter.
F. 
During the fifteen (15) day period after receipt of a letter for excessive nuisance alarms any additional nuisance alarms will not be counted toward the year's total nuisance alarms, provided that the provisions of Subsection (A) above have been met.

Section 260.070 Service Fees.

[Ord. No. 3888 §7, 3-15-2010]
A. 
The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to any newly installed fire alarm system for a period of forty-five (45) days from the date of installation. In an existing building the forty-five (45) days begin when the installation of the new system is completed. In new construction the forty-five (45) days begin when the installation of the system is completed and an occupancy permit is issued. The provisions of this Chapter shall apply from and after the expiration of the initial forty-five (45) day period following the issuance of the occupancy permit and/or completed installation.
B. 
Should any service fee assessed pursuant to this Chapter remain unpaid in excess of thirty (30) days, a late fee shall be assessed and shall be payable in addition twenty dollars ($20.00) to the original service fee.
C. 
The service fees established by this Chapter shall be calculated with a twelve (12) month period:
1st nuisance alarm
No fee
2nd nuisance alarm
$50.00
3rd nuisance alarm
$75.00
4th nuisance alarm
$100.00
5th or more nuisance alarm
$200.00

Section 260.080 Conflict With Other City Ordinances.

[Ord. No. 3888 §8, 3-15-2010]
If the provisions of this Chapter conflict with any ordinance or resolution previously adopted by the City, the provisions of this Chapter shall control.

Section 260.090 Penalties.

[Ord. No. 3888 §9, 3-15-2010]
A violation of this Chapter shall be a civil infraction. Any person failing to maintain fire alarm systems consistent with this Section shall be subject to the penalty provided for violating the Municipal Code. It shall be the duty of the Enforcement Official or their designee to make complaint before the Municipal Judge against all persons who fail to maintain the fire alarms system that is associated with the premises or fail to pay service fees as required by this Chapter. It shall be the duty of the Municipal Judge to summon such owner or occupant of the premises before him/her to answer such complaint of a violation of this Chapter and the Municipal Judge, upon such complaint, shall have jurisdiction of the case and proceed in all respects as in other cases of violation of City ordinance. Any person who shall violate provisions of this Section or who shall fail to comply with any of the requirements thereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or be imprisoned in the City or County Jail for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days, or both such fine and imprisonment.