ARTICLE ISecurity Alarm Systems (§ 104-1 — § 104-12)
ARTICLE IIManual Emergency Alarm Systems (§ 104-13 — § 104-17)
§ 104-1Declaration of policy.
§ 104-3Alarm user permit required.
§ 104-4Application for alarm permit; emergency notification; reporting service
§ 104-5Issuance of permit decals.
§ 104-6Backup power supply; automatic shutoff.
§ 104-7Alarm information list.
§ 104-8Testing of equipment.
§ 104-9Determination of false alarm.
§ 104-10False alarm assessment schedule.
§ 104-11Appeals procedure; penalties.
§ 104-12Promulgation of regulations by Director of Public Safety.
The Pawtucket City Council has determined that the number of false or needless alarms being generated in the City of Pawtucket are causing a drain on both the manpower and the resources of the Pawtucket Police Division. In order to reduce this drain the Council has drafted and passed the following.
Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the words and phrases used in this Article shall have the following meanings:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- The business of any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity engaged in selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any alarm system or in causing any alarm system to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed in or on any building, structure or facility.
- ALARM PERMIT
- A permit issued by the city allowing the operation of an alarm system within the city.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any assembly of equipment, mechanical or electrical, arranged to signal the occurrence of an illegal entry or other activity requiring urgent attention and to which the Police Division is expected to respond, but does not include alarms installed in conveyances or fire alarms.
- ALARM USER
- The person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind in control of any building, structure or facility or portion thereof wherein an alarm system is maintained.
- APPEAL OFFICER
- The Director of Public Safety or an individual designated by the Director of Public Safety to act in the capacity as an impartial arbitrator to review appeals related to the enforcement of this Article.
- AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE DIALING ALARM SYSTEM
- The automatic dialing or any automatic telephone dialing alarm system and shall include any system which, upon being activated, automatically transmits by telephone or message or code signal indicating a need for emergency response; or a system which, upon activation, connects to an answering service whose function it is to transmit to the Pawtucket Police Division a need for emergency response.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm signal eliciting a response by police where a situation requiring a response by the police does not in fact exist, but this definition does not include an alarm signal caused by unusually violent conditions of nature nor does it include other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm user.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate an alarm system without a valid alarm user permit.
All alarm user permits shall be acquired from the City of Pawtucket upon the filing of an application with the office of the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee.
All alarm users shall report any changes on his/her permit to the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee in order to maintain a valid alarm permit.
If a business has one (1) or more alarm systems protecting two (2) or more separate structures having different addresses, a separate permit will be required for each structure.
Applications. Applications for alarm permits shall be made on forms provided by the Police Division. Each application shall state the name, address and telephone number of the applicant's property to be serviced by the alarm and the name, address and telephone number of the applicant's residence, if different. If the applicant's alarm is serviced by an alarm company, the application shall also include the name, address and telephone number of that company. Each permit shall be valid until the 30th day of September of each year.
Emergency notification. Each application shall list an emergency telephone number of the user or his or her representative to permit prompt notification of alarm calls and facilities assisting the police in the inspection of the property. Changes in emergency telephone numbers shall be kept current, and failure to provide updated information may constitute grounds for revocation of the permit.
Reporting service information. Each holder of an alarm user permit shall immediately notify the Police Division in writing of any and all changes in the information file with the city regarding such permit. Failure to do so shall constitute grounds for revocation of the permit.
A decal with the alarm user's permit number, name and permit address will be issued with the alarm user permit. This decal should be prominently posted on or near the front entrance to the premises so that the information provided on the decal is visible from the outside of the structure. If the alarm user does not wish to display a decal, then the alarm user has the option of using his/her address as the mode of identification for the permit. The alarm user shall signify this on his/her permit.
All alarm systems shall have a backup power supply that will become effective in the event of a power failure or outage in the source of electricity from the utility company.
Audible bell/horn/siren or other sound emitting device. All alarm systems which utilize an audible bell, horn, siren or other sound emitting device shall be equipped with an automatic shutoff device which will deactivate the alarm system within fifteen (15) minutes after activation. All alarm users with audible bells, horns, sirens or other sound emitting devices shall install and maintain such automatic shutoff device within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Article.
There shall be a list known as the "alarm information list" which will consist of the following information for each security alarm system signal:
The street address, apartment number, if any, office, suite number or the exact location of the security alarm system.
The name of the person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind protected by the alarm system.
The entire name, street address, city/town and state of the subscriber as well as the area code and the telephone number.
The entire names, street addresses, cities/towns and states as well as the area codes and the telephone numbers of at least two (2) separate individuals [aside from the subscriber as indicated in Subsection A(3) of this section] who can be reached twenty-four (24) hours a day and who are authorized to respond to an alarm signal and who have access into the premises or location in which the alarm is located.
Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Article, every individual, partnership, corporation or other entity doing business in the City of Pawtucket as an alarm service shall provide the Director of Public Safety with an alarm information list, setting forth all of their Pawtucket security alarm subscribers.
Further, said companies shall notify the Director of Public Safety, by certified mail, of any change in status or additions or deletions to the alarm information list within five (5) working days.
All information obtained and maintained by the City of Pawtucket pursuant to this section shall be confidential, a matter of public safety and shall not be subject to disclosure to a third party unless specifically authorized in writing by the applicant or the Director of Public Safety for good cause shown or order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
Every security alarm user must notify the Director of Public Safety in writing at least two (2) days but not more than fifteen (15) days in advance of testing of security alarm equipment. Failure to notify the Director of Public Safety in advance of a testing, as established, shall constitute a false alarm and be subject to the assessment schedule contained herein in § 104-10.
Whenever an alarm is activated in the city, thereby requiring an emergency response to the location by the Police Division, and the Police Division does respond, a police officer on the scene of the activated alarm system shall inspect the area protected by the system and shall determine whether the emergency response was in fact required as indicated by the alarm system or whether in some way the alarm system malfunctioned and thereby activated a false alarm.
If the police officer at the scene of the activated alarm system determines the alarm to be false, said officer shall make a report of the false alarm, a notification of which shall be mailed or delivered to the alarm user, at the address of said alarm system installation location, advising the alarm user of the false alarm.
The Chief of Police, or his or her designee, shall have the right to inspect any alarm system on the premises to which a response has been made, and he or she may cause an inspection of such system to be made at any reasonable time thereafter to determine whether it is being used in conformity with the terms of this Article.
After the Director of Public Safety has recorded three (3) separate false alarms from a security alarm system, then the alarm user will be notified by the Director of Public Safety, via first class mail, of such facts, and the alarm user shall be required to submit within ten (10) working days a report describing the alarm user's efforts to discover and eliminate the cause or causes of the false alarms. This notice shall contain the dates and times of each alleged false alarm.
In the event that the Director of Public Safety determines that a report submitted in accordance with the preceding Subsection A is unsatisfactory or that the alarm user has failed to show by the report that reasonable steps have been taken to eliminate or reduce false alarms, then the Director of Public Safety will inform the alarm user that subsequent false alarms will cause the alarm user to be assessed monetary charges as follows:
Seventy-five dollars ($75.) for the fourth false alarm in a twelve-month period.
One hundred fifty dollars ($150.) for each subsequent false alarm thereafter in a twelve-month period.
Fifty dollars ($50.) for failure to obtain and maintain a valid alarm permit within seven (7) days subsequent to written notification by the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee.
All charges assessed hereunder shall be made payable to the City of Pawtucket for deposit into the general fund.
If the alarm user submits a report as required, the Director of Public Safety shall determine if the action taken or to be taken within reasonable time constraints will substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms. If so, then the Director of Public Safety shall notify the alarm user, in writing, that no assessment will be made at the time. The alarm user will, however, be subject to assessment procedures on the next false alarm signal transmitted.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to security alarm systems owned and/or operated by agencies of the City of Pawtucket.
Any alarm user who is aggrieved by a decision of the Director of Public Safety may, within five (5) working days of notice receipt, appeal in writing to the Director of Public Safety for consideration to be waived from the assessment. The Director of Public Safety or his/her designee (see definition in § 104-2) will review the appeal with the requested consideration of waiver. If still unsatisfied, the alarm user may, within thirty (30) days of the final decision of the Director of Public Safety, appeal to the Pawtucket Municipal Court.
The Director of Public Safety may promulgate such regulations as may be necessary for the implementation of this Article.
§ 104-13Installation in certain retail and commercial businesses required.
§ 104-14Direct connection to central alarm company required.
§ 104-15Rules and regulations.
§ 104-16Deadline for compliance.
§ 104-17Violations and penalties.
Manual emergency alarm systems shall be installed in all retail and commercial businesses operating between the hours of 1:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. and having only one (1) employee on duty during those hours.
All such emergency alarm systems shall be directly connected to a central station burglar alarm company that is duly licensed by the State of Rhode Island which meets or exceeds the requirements for certification by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., for a central station burglar alarm system. The burden of showing compliance with the aforementioned standards shall be upon the business establishment(s).
The Department of Public Safety is authorized to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations governing the location and installation of the emergency alarm systems.
Retail or commercial businesses in operation prior to the effective date of this Article shall fully comply with the provisions of this Article not later than six (6) months from the effective date hereof.
It shall be unlawful for any person, association, corporation, partnership, franchisee, leaseholder or agent or any other entity of the foregoing to operate, or permit to be operated, any retail or commercial business in violation of this Article. A violation of this Article shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.) or by imprisonment not exceeding thirty (30) days, or both. Each day any violation of this Article shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.