[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton 2-11-1986 by L.L. No. 2-1986; amended in its entirety 10-26-2010 by L.L. No. 34-2010. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards and controls for the various types of alarm systems, including a fine schedule for false alarms transmitted and resulting in unnecessary response of emergency responders. These alarm systems include fire and smoke detection systems, water flow alarms, carbon monoxide, gas alerts, and security and other types of police alarm devices which require an emergency response by a volunteer fire department or police department, excluding incorporated villages within the Town.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
- ALARM MONITORING STATION
- Any facility operated by a private firm that owns or leases a system of alarm devices, which facility is manned by operators who receive, record or validate alarm signals and relay information about such validated signals to the Police or Fire Department when appropriate.
- EMERGENCY ALARM
- Any fire and smoke detection system, water flow alarm, carbon monoxide or gas alert, and security and other types of police alarms designed to be actuated by a fire, criminal act or other emergency at a specific location either as an automatic response or as an actuation from an occupant.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal actuated by an emergency alarm to which the Police or Fire Department responds which is not the result of a fire or police emergency.
It shall be a violation of this chapter to intentionally cause a false alarm, and any person who does intentionally cause a false alarm shall be subject to the penalty provisions hereof.
Any person, corporation, or other entity that performs work in a building protected by an alarm system that causes the alarm to falsely actuate shall be deemed responsible for that actuation.
Failing to provide protective covering according to the manufacturer's specifications for a smoke detection system which causes an activation due to sanding or due to dust buildup shall be deemed an intentional false alarm.
Any person, corporation, or other entity that maintains an alarm or alarm system without providing appropriate maintenance to ensure proper operation of that alarm/alarm system shall be deemed responsible for a false alarm.
Any owner, lessee, or person having control of property having a fire or police alarm device or system shall pay to the Town a charge for each and every false alarm to which the Police Department or Fire Department responds, as follows:
First false police alarm: no charge.
First false fire alarm: no charge.
Each fee collected for false fire alarms pursuant to this chapter shall be applied as follows:
Each fire district or Village Fire Department shall submit to the Town a copy of the fire report for each false alarm for which the Fire Department response was necessary to aid the Town in reconciliation of the false alarm charges.
An invoice for the fee associated with each false alarm, as described above, shall be generated by the Town. For each fee that goes unpaid after 45 days of the invoice date, a late fee, as established by resolution of the Town Board, shall be added to the original fee. Any invoice with an associated late charge that has been unpaid for at least 60 days on November 1 of that year shall be automatically included as a lien on the tax bill of the property on which the false alarm occurred. There shall be an administrative surcharge of $50 added to the invoice should such lien be required.
[Amended 2-3-2015 by L.L. No. 5-2015]
Any owner or lessee who has a false alarm occur on his or her property may request the Office of the Town Comptroller to reconsider the invoice or a portion thereof within 30 days of the invoice date, as described above, by filing a written request with the Town Comptroller, setting forth the basis for such request. The Town Comptroller shall have 30 days from the receipt of such request to render a decision with respect to the request for reconsideration. Said decision may include a reduction in fine amount or a dismissal of the charges, provided such relief does not conflict with the terms of this chapter. If the Comptroller fails to respond within the thirty-day period it shall be deemed a denial of the request to reconsider. The property owner may appeal any denial and/or decision of the Comptroller on a request to reconsider to the Public Safety Commission by filing a written request with the Town Comptroller and paying the applicable appeal fee, as established by resolution of the Town Board, which may be refunded at the discretion of the Public Safety Commission. A hearing shall be held by the Public Safety Commission within a reasonable time after the Town Comptroller's receipt of the written appeal. The decision of the Public Safety Commission shall be final. The Public Safety Commission shall have sole authority to expunge all or a portion of a property owner's false alarm history.
[Amended 2-3-2015 by L.L. No. 5-2015]
The owner or lessee shall be responsible for the maintenance and service of his or her fire or police alarm device equipment and shall be responsible for all malfunctions of his or her equipment.
None of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to a fire or police alarm device or devices installed in a motor vehicle.
Any person, firm or corporation who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not in excess of $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during which a violation occurs or is committed.