Township of Wilkins, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Wilkins 12-9-2002 by Ord. No. 948. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 61-1 Short title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Township of Wilkins Alarm System Ordinance."

§ 61-2 Repealer.

All ordinances or parts of ordinances conflicting herewith are hereby repealed.

§ 61-3 Purpose and intent.

This chapter is adopted to promote and protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the community, to deter alarms requiring police, fire and emergency medical personnel to respond in the absence of an emergency thereby limiting the availability of emergency personnel and severely affecting the public safety, to prevent public nuisances and unreasonable noise which cause substantial public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm and to prohibit and require the removal of such nuisances prejudicial to the public health or safety.

§ 61-4 Word usage.

In the construction of this chapter, the rules and definitions contained in this section shall be observed and applied, except when the context clearly indicates otherwise:
A. 
Words used in the singular shall include the plural, and the plural the singular.
B. 
Words used in the present tense shall include the future tense.
C. 
The word "shall" is always mandatory and not discretionary.
D. 
The word "may" is permissive.

§ 61-5 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
ALARM SYSTEM
Any assembly of equipment, mechanical, electrical, electronic, or battery operated, arranged to signal by trunk line the occurrence of a police, fire, hazard or medical emergency requiring urgent attention and to which police, fire or emergency medical units are expected to respond.
ANSWERING SERVICE
A service whereby trained employees, in attendance at all times, receive prerecorded voice messages from automatic dialing devices reporting an emergency at a stated location, where such employees have the duty to relay immediately by live voice any such emergency message over a trunk line to the communications center of the police, fire or emergency medical service department.
AUDIBLE ALARM
Any device, bell, horn or siren which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building, structure or facility and emits a warning signal audible outside the building, structure or facility and is designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring Police or Fire Department response.
AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
A device which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to transmit a signal by a voice or coded message that indicates that an emergency condition exists and the need for an emergency response is required.
CENTRAL STATION
A protective system or group of such systems operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation which accepts recorded messages from automatic dialing devices at a central station having operators and guards in attendance at all times who have the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of messages to the communications center of the Police or Fire Department.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Police Chief of the Wilkins Township Police Department.
EMERGENCY
A police, fire, hazard or medical crisis, exigency or emergency.
A. 
An alarm activated in the absence of an emergency, whether willfully or by inadvertence, negligence or unintentional act, to which the Police Department, Fire Department or the Wilkins-Churchill Rescue One (or its affiliate or successor) responds. The definition excludes alarms caused by malfunctions of the Wilkins communication center receiving equipment; alarms for which the user has attempted to cancel a response; testing or repairing of telephone or electrical lines or equipment outside the premises; acts of God, such as earthquake or flood; an attempted illegal entry; a crime in progress; or, in the case of emergency medical alarm, an actual medical emergency requiring police, fire and/or medical personnel. If doubt exists as to the cause of the false alarm, the Chief of Police or his designee shall make a decision regarding the circumstances of the activation. If a call is cancelled with the police communication center before police, fire, or emergency medical service personnel are dispatched from their respective base, the alarm will not be counted as a false alarm.
B. 
Multiple alarms received by the Police Department before the system can be deactivated or repaired within 72 hours of awareness of the alarm malfunction shall be considered a single alarm.
C. 
The definition of a false alarm also includes the intentional activation of a holdup alarm for other than a holdup in progress, the intentional activation of a burglary alarm for other than a burglary, the intentional activation of a medical alarm for other than a medical emergency or the intentional activation of a fire alarm for other than fire or hazard.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Any Wilkins Township Volunteer Fire Company.
FIRE EMERGENCY
A fire.
HAZARD EMERGENCY
An explosion, leak of toxic gas, liquid or solid or a potential explosion or leak.
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 dialing device.
MEDICAL EMERGENCY
An emergency involving the health of a person.
PERMIT
Written permission duly granted to an applicant by the Township upon payment of the required fee.
POLICE COMMUNICATION CENTER
The police, fire emergency medical service communication center through which calls are dispatched.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Wilkins Police Department.
POLICE EMERGENCY
An incident requiring prompt response by the Police Department.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Wilkins, County of Allegheny.
TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the communication center of the Police Department or answering service that is for the purpose of handling calls on a person-to-person basis and which is identified by and issued by the telephone company.

§ 61-6 Prohibited alarms.

A. 
On and after the effective date of this chapter, owners or users of audible alarms shall equip such audible alarms with a timing mechanism that shall disengage the audible alarm after a maximum of 30 minutes. Audible alarms without such a timing mechanism shall be unlawful in the Township and shall be disconnected by the owner or user within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter.
B. 
This section shall not apply to single-family residences.

§ 61-7 Installations to be registered.

A. 
Within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter, every user who has installed an alarm system or has caused an alarm to be installed on their premises in the Township shall furnish to the Chief of Police the following information:
(1) 
The name, residence and telephone number of the owner or user.
(2) 
The address where the device is installed and the telephone number at that address.
(3) 
The name, address and telephone number of any other person or firm who is authorized to respond to an emergency and gain access to the address where the device is installed, including the names and phone numbers of a minimum of three individuals who are authorized to respond to an emergency alarm, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and gain access to the address where the device is installed, and to disengage and reactivate the alarm system.
(4) 
The name and telephone number of any person, firm or corporation, if any, other than the alarm supplier, who is responsible for maintenance and repair of the system.
(5) 
The type of system, i.e., holdup, burglary, fire or medical emergency.
B. 
Users of alarm system devices whose devices were installed prior to the effective date of this chapter shall, within 60 days after such enactment, supply the Chief of Police with the information specified in Subsection A of this section.
C. 
Upon approval of the registration, a permit shall be issued pursuant to § 61-8A hereof.
D. 
All information furnished pursuant to this section shall be kept confidential and shall be for the authorized use of the Police Department only.

§ 61-8 User's application and permit; fees.

A. 
The user's fee for an alarm system permit shall be paid annually as set by resolution of the Board of Commissioners. Said permit shall be obtained by or on behalf of the owner of the premises upon which the alarm system is installed from the Police Department prior to the installation of the alarm system. Alarm systems installed prior to the effective date of this chapter shall receive a permit upon approval of registration.
B. 
The application shall contain the address of the property, the name of the business, if applicable, the name of the owner, tenant or agent responsible for the property, the alarm supplier or other entity responsible for maintaining the system, the type of alarm (burglary, fire, holdup or medical), how the alarm signal will be received by the communications center (tape, central station, etc.), at least three alternate emergency numbers of persons to be contacted to disengage/reset the alarm and to secure the property and any additional information as may be determined to be necessary. It shall be the owner's responsibility to notify the Police Department and answering service in writing whenever the foregoing information changes.
C. 
The permit shall bear the signature of the Chief of Police and shall be valid for one calendar year after it is issued or until revoked by the Chief of Police. The permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous location upon the premises using the alarm system and shall be available for inspection outside the premises by the police.
D. 
Users who fail to obtain a permit within 60 days after the alarm system is activated or within 60 days after the effective date of this chapter, if later, shall be liable to pay a late charge penalty as set by resolution of the Board of Commissioners for each calendar year, or part thereof, that the permit is not obtained.
E. 
All locations in the Township equipped with alarm systems, except as stated in this chapter, shall secure and possess a valid permit for the same.

§ 61-9 False alarms.

By submitting an application for permit for the installation of an alarm system and the subsequent installation of such a system or by the continuation of the use of an alarm system already installed at the effective date of this chapter, the owner, lessee or user thereof shall agree that such permit application constitutes a waiver by such person of the right to bring or file any action, claim or complaint whatsoever against any police officer, fireman or emergency medical service person who makes a forced entry in response to such an alarm into the premises on which such an alarm is installed as a result of entry into the subject premises. In the event that the owner of such premises is a person other than the permit applicant, as in the instance of a lessee or other user not the owner of the premises on which the alarm is installed, such permit application shall constitute an indemnification agreement by the applicant to hold harmless any such police officer or fireman, the township, the Police Department, the Fire Department and emergency medical personnel, as appropriate, from any and all damages whatsoever claimed by the lessor or owner of the premises on which the alarm is installed.

§ 61-10 False alarm fines.

A. 
Consent to pay cost; schedule of costs. For the purposes of defraying the costs to the Police and Fire Departments of responding to false alarms, the owner, lessee or user of any alarm system, persons using the services of an intermediary, users of audible alarms and any other kind of alarm systems or any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the police or fire communications center, except persons using the two-way live voice communication by telephone shall, as a condition to installation and continued operation of such equipment or service, execute a consent in such form as may be prescribed by the Township that such owner, lessee or user shall pay the Township for all false alarms upon the following schedule for each false alarm originating from the owner's, lessee's or user's premises.
Number of
False Alarm Calls
(per year)
Fine
3
No charge
4
$50.00
5
$60.00
6
$70.00
7
$80.00
8
$90.00
9-15
$100.00
15 and over
$200.00
B. 
Failure to comply. Any such owner, lessee or user who fails to comply with the consent to the waiver and indemnification described in § 61-9 of this chapter shall, within 60 days disconnect the alarm system.
C. 
Any owner, lessee or user of an alarm system may revoke or refuse to consent to the waiver and indemnification as set forth in § 61-9 above only by disconnecting the alarm system. With respect to such systems installed at the effective date of this chapter, the owner, lessee or user can refuse or revoke the aforesaid consent by disconnecting such alarm system within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter.
D. 
Penalties provided for false alarms that are relayed or transmitted by an intermediary shall be the responsibility of the owner or user of the alarm system.

§ 61-11 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person who shall violate a provision of this chapter or fail to comply therewith, or with any of the requirements thereof, shall pay a fine or penalty of not more than $600, or less than $50 which fine or penalty shall be collected by suit brought in the name of the township before any district magistrate, in like manner as debts of like amount may be sued for by existing laws. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.