[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of El Reno 4-6-1999 by Ord. No. 2886; amended in its entirety 8-6-2002 by Ord. No. 2940. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
While recognizing the value of effective alarm systems in deterring crime and preventing fire losses, and while encouraging the use of such alarm systems, it is the purpose of this chapter to require minimum standards for alarm systems and services, and to reduce, insofar as possible, the misuse of emergency public services caused by false alarms.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- Any person engaged in the business of installing, assisting in the installation, servicing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, moving or removing of alarm systems in the City, and duly licensed by the State of Oklahoma.
- A. One or more devices designed either to detect and signal an unauthorized intrusion or entry, or to signal a fire or other emergency condition, which signals are responded to by public law enforcement officers, Fire Department personnel, private guards or security officers.
- B. The following devices shall not constitute an alarm system within the meaning of this chapter:
- (1) Devices which do not activate alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside the protected premises.
- (2) Devices which are not installed, operated or used for the purpose of reporting an emergency, either directly or by third party, to the Police or Fire Department.
- (3) Alarm devices affixed to motor vehicles.
- (4) Alarm devices installed on a temporary basis by the Police or Fire Department.
- ANSWERING SERVICE
- A telephone answering service providing, among its services, the receiving, on a continuous basis through trained employees, of emergency signals from alarm systems and the subsequent relaying of said messages to the City's Communication Center on a person-to-person basis.
- AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
- An alarm system which automatically sends over regular telephone lines, by direct connection or otherwise, any type of communication or message indicating the existence of an emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to direct.
- CENTRAL STATION
- An office to which alarm systems are connected, where operators supervise the circuits, and where guards and/or service men are maintained continuously to investigate signals. For purposes of fire alarms, information relay systems shall be in compliance with the National Fire Alarm Code.
- COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
- An employee of the Police Department who has been assigned as part of his/her duties to manage the communications function.
- COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
- The department head over Community Development.
- DIRECT LINE
- A telephone line leading directly from a central station to the City's Communication Center on a person-to-person basis.
- The existence of a fire or the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, burglary or other criminal action.
- Any person who is employed by an alarm business and who installs, services, maintains, repairs or replaces alarm systems in the City.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, the negligence of the alarm business operator or his employees or agents, or the negligence of the owner, user or lessee of an alarm system or his employees or agents, or which otherwise elects a response by a law enforcement agency or a fire department when a situation requiring such response does not in fact exist. "False alarm" shall also mean the activation of an alarm system, the purpose of which is to communicate or indicate a specific emergency situation, when, in fact, that specific emergency situation does not exist. "False alarm" does not include, for example, alarms activated by utility line mishaps, tornadoes, earthquakes or other violent conditions of nature, or other conditions clearly beyond the control of the alarm manufacturer, alarm business, installer, owner or user.
- KEY HOLDER
- Any person who has legal access to an alarm system and has the ability and authority to reset or rearm the alarm system.
- MODIFIED CENTRAL STATION
- An office to which alarm systems are connected, where operators supervise the circuits but where guards are not maintained to investigate alarm signals.
- The person, corporation or other entity that has contracted with the City to receive one or more utility services at a particular location or, in the absence of such a person, corporation or other entity, the person, corporation or other entity that is the owner of record as indicated by the current year's tax rolls in the Canadian County Treasurer's office.
State license required. It shall be unlawful for any person to own, manage, conduct or carry on an alarm business within the City unless such person has a valid state license issued pursuant to the state's Alarm and Locksmith Industry Act; nor shall any person performing any of the above functions at the time of the adoption of this chapter fail to obtain such license within the time provided by the Act.
Employees. It shall be unlawful for any person who is employed for the purpose of engaging in the installing, servicing, maintaining, repairing, moving or removing, in or on any building or other property within the City, a fire, burglary, robbery, or other emergency alarm system, to engage in such activities unless such person is employed by an alarm business duly licensed pursuant to the state's Alarm and Locksmith Industry Act.
Penalty. Any person who is found in violation of this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $200.
Registration. It is unlawful for any person to engage in an alarm business within the City without registering with the City's Community Development Director. The registration shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of registration.
Requirements. Persons engaged in an alarm business within the City must register with the Community Development Director within 90 days of the adoption of this chapter and annually thereafter no later than the anniversary date of the registration. Persons not presently engaged in, but desiring to engage in, the alarm business within the City must register with the Community Development Director prior to engaging in the alarm business and annually thereafter no later than the anniversary date of the registration. For the purpose of this section, "anniversary date of registration" means one year from the date the registration, as described below, is received by the Community Development Director.
Requirements. The registration required in this section shall be in the form of a letter containing, as a minimum, the following information:
Name of the alarm business, local business address and telephone number.
Name, address and telephone number of the firm, company or corporation to which the alarm company is subsidiary or under which it is operating.
The name, business and residential address, and telephone numbers of the persons managing or operating the alarm business being registered.
The address and telephone number of the alarm central station.
Notarized signature and title of the person managing or operating the alarm business.
Any changes occurring in the foregoing information shall be reported, in writing, within 30 days of the change to the Community Development Director.
Penalty. Any person who is found in violation of this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $200.
Suspension or revocation. In addition to any penalties which may be imposed for the violation of certain provisions of this chapter, the City Manager may, after a hearing, suspend, for no more than 60 days, or revoke the registration for any of the following grounds:
Appeal. The City Manager's decision to suspend or revoke the registration will be in writing and given to the alarm business as expeditiously as possible. An alarm business whose registration has been suspended or revoked by the City Manager may appeal such suspension or revocation to the City Council. Notice of the appeal must be filed with the City Clerk no later than 10 days from the date of the City Manager's letter to the alarm business. The City Clerk will place the appeal on the City Council's agenda for the first possible meeting and will notify the person filing the appeal of the date and time the appeal will be heard by the City Council. The City Council may affirm, reverse or modify the City Manager's decision.
Notification. When the matter is finally resolved, with or without the appeal process, the Community Development Director will notify, in writing, the Commissioner of Health of the suspension or revocation and the reasons thereof.
False alarm notice. If a false alarm occurs at any alarm location, the Communications Director shall give written notice of the false alarm to the Police or Fire Chief informing them of the owner, occupant or resident from which the false alarm originates. After review by the respective department, the notice shall be sent to the owner, resident or occupant from which the false alarm originates. The written notice will be given on a monthly basis, giving the date and the time the false alarm occurred and the probable cause for the false alarm. The notice will also include notice of possible assessment and penalty for excessive false alarms.
Excessive false alarms. A false alarm shall be deemed to be excessive if it occurs three times within a ninety-consecutive-day period.
Failure to respond. The failure of any owner, occupant, resident or "key holder" for any alarm to respond to a request by an alarm company, central station, modified central station, dispatch center or police or fire officer to attend an activated alarm shall cause the alarm to be classified as a "False Alarm - Human Error," and shall be included in that number.
If a key holder does not arrive on the site of an activated alarm within 30 minutes after notification by police, fire or emergency service personnel, the activated alarm will be considered as a false alarm.
Minimum system requirements. Alarm systems that use an audible or visual alarm device to attract attention of the public shall be equipped and adjusted so as to automatically discontinue the alarm within 30 minutes after it activates.
Penalty. Any owner that allows excessive false alarms to occur at any location or violates any provision of this section shall be deemed to have committed an offense, which may be punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of not more than $200, plus costs. In lieu of filing a criminal complaint, the City may assess a service fee to the owner's City utility account of $20 for each excessive false alarm at any location.
Failure to pay service fees. The City utility services of owners who fail or refuse to pay service fees assessed under the provisions of this section on or before the due date of the utility billing on which the service fees are assessed shall be terminated until the service fees, utility billing and all fees associated with the termination of utility services are paid in full.
It shall be unlawful for any person to connect an alarm system which automatically dials into the City's Enhanced Nine-One-One (E-911) Emergency Communication System. Any person found in violation of this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $200.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all alarm systems, alarm businesses, alarm business employees and owners or users of alarm systems which are installed, connected, operated, maintained or existing on or before the effective date of this chapter, as well as all systems, businesses, employees and owners or users existing subsequent to the effective date hereof.