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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Newington 1-14-1996 by Ord. No. 9395-7 (§§ 9-51 to 9-74 of the 1974 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Noise — See Ch. 291.
The number of false alarms being made to the Police and Fire Departments hinders the efficiency of those departments, lowers the morale of department personnel, constitutes a danger to the general public in the streets during responses to false alarms and jeopardizes the response of volunteers. This chapter will reduce the number of false alarms and promote the responsible use of alarm devices in Newington.
For the purposes of this chapter the following words and terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any device which, when activated by a criminal act, fire or other emergency calling for Police or Fire Department response, transmits a signal to Police Department headquarters; transmits a signal to a person who relays information to police headquarters; or produces an audible or visible signal to which the Police or Fire Departments are expected to respond. Excluded from this definition and the scope of this chapter are devices which are designed to alert or signal only persons within the premises in which the device is installed.
- ALARM USER
- The owner of any premises in which an alarm device is used, provided that an occupant who expressly accepts responsibility for an alarm device by registration pursuant to § 136-6 shall be deemed the "alarm user."
- AUTOMATIC DIAL ALARM
- Any telephone device or attachment that mechanically or electronically selects a telephone line to police headquarters and reproduces a prerecorded voice message to report a criminal act, fire or other emergency calling for Police or Fire Department response. Excluded from this definition are devices which relay a digital-coded signal to police headquarters.
- CENTRAL STATION
- An office to which remote alarm devices transmit signals, where operators monitor those signals and relay information to the Police Department.
- Any person, firm or corporation in the business of supplying and installing alarm devices or servicing the same.
- FALSE ALARM
- Includes any activation of an alarm device to which the Police or Fire Department responds and which is not caused by a criminal act, fire or other emergency, except an activation caused by malfunction of telephone equipment as verified by monitoring facilities at police headquarters, a letter or other evidence from the telephone company or other proof, or power failure as verified by the administrator. A series of such activations attributable to the same cause and occurring under circumstances beyond the control of the responsible alarm user shall be deemed a single "false alarm."
The Chief of Police, or his designee, shall serve as the Administrator for alarm devices and shall have the powers and duties granted herein.
There shall be in the Town an Alarm Appeal Officer who shall have the powers and duties granted in this chapter. The alarm appeal officer shall be the Town Manager or his designee.
A. No person, firm or corporation shall hereafter install an alarm device without first providing the Alarm Administrator with the name, address and telephone numbers (home and work) of the owner and of the occupant (if different) of the premises wherein an alarm device is to be installed as well as other emergency information as may be determined by the Alarm Administrator.
B. Each alarm user shall register his alarm device or devices with the Administrator prior to use, or if in use on the effective date of this chapter, within 30 days thereafter.
A. Alarm device registration shall be accomplished by filling out a form provided by the Administrator to include such information concerning the identity of the prospective alarm user, the identity of the alarm user's contractor, if any, and the nature of the proposed or in-use (if in use on the effective date of this chapter) alarm device as the Administrator may require. The Administrator shall issue the alarm user a written acknowledgment of proper registration.
B. It shall be the responsibility of each alarm user to notify the Administrator of changes in registration information within 30 days.
Each central station which plans to transmit signals to the Police Department must register with the Administrator before doing so.
A. Central station registration shall be accomplished by filling out a form provided by the Administrator to include such information as the Administrator may require concerning the identity of the applicant, the type of its business organization (individual proprietorship, partnership, corporation), the principal place of business of the entity, the location of the office monitoring alarms, the staffing of that office and the alarm users in Newington served by the station. The Administrator shall issue the central station a written acknowledgment of proper registration.
B. It shall be the responsibility of each central station to notify the Administrator of changes in the registration information, but such notification need not be given more frequently than once a month.
Each contractor wishing to provide authorized inspection and repair services shall register with the Administrator.
A. Contractor registration shall be accomplished by filling out a form provided by the Administrator to include such information concerning the identity of the applicant, the type of its business organization (individual proprietorship, partnership, corporation), the principal place of business of the entity, the places of business from which Newington alarm users will be served, the types and makes of equipment sold and/or installed and the types and makes of equipment the contractor is qualified to service as the Administrator may require. The Administrator shall issue the contractor a written acknowledgment of proper registration.
B. There shall be a fee of $25 for each registration accepted.
C. It shall be the responsibility of each contractor to notify the Administrator of changes in the registration information. Editor's Note: Original Section 9-61, Transmission of digital-coded signals prohibited, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
Unless required by law, no alarm device which produces an exterior audible signal shall be installed or continue to be in use if currently in use unless its operation is automatically restricted to a maximum of 15 minutes.
A. The Police Department and Fire Department shall report false alarms to the Administrator, based upon the report of the investigating officer.
B. It shall be the responsibility of the central station to notify the alarm user or his designated keyholder whenever the central station reports an alarm activation to the Police Department.
When the Administrator determines that the Police Department or Fire Department has responded to false alarms which could have been avoided, the Administrator shall impose a charge on the responsible alarm user according to the following schedule:
A. For the first four false alarms within the Town's fiscal year: no charge.
B. For the fifth and subsequent such alarms: $99 each.
A. The Administrator shall notify the responsible alarm user of any false alarm charge by certified mail. Within five working days after the mailing of such notice, the alarm user may file with the Administrator information to show that the alarm, or any of the previous four alarms, was not a false alarm within the meaning of this chapter.
B. The Administrator shall consider such information, reaffirm or rescind the false alarm charge and notify the alarm user of its decision by certified mail. Within five working days after the mailing of such notice, the alarm user may file with the Alarm Appeal Officer an appeal, in writing.
Upon receipt of a timely appeal from a false alarm charge or a registration suspension, the Alarm Appeal Officer shall hold a hearing to consider it and shall mail, by certified mail, notice of the time and place of said hearing to the alarm user making the appeal at his last known address, at least 15 days before the hearing. On the basis of information provided by the alarm user and other information introduced at the hearing, the Appeal Officer shall affirm the charge or suspension if it is determined that the charge or suspension was properly imposed or rescind the charge or suspension if it is determined that the charge or suspension was not properly imposed. The Appeal Officer shall have the authority to rescind a charge or suspension if circumstances warrant and/or if the alarm user has shown due diligence in taking corrective action.
Each notice of a false alarm charge, the reaffirmation of such a charge by the Administrator or the suspension of a registration shall refer to and provide instructions concerning the alarm user's right to further recourse by filing information with the Administrator or an appeal with the Alarm Appeal Officer, as the case may be.
All information in the possession of the Administrator, the Alarm Appeal Officer, the Police Department or the Fire Department concerning particular alarm users and particular alarm devices shall not be divulged without the written consent of the alarm user or users concerned, except that information as to the frequency of false alarms experienced by an individual alarm user may be supplied to the contractor who installed or who currently has a contract to service that user's alarm device.
The Administrator, Police Department and Fire Department shall, with respect to each and every false alarm, compile information concerning alarm devices, contractors and sources of false alarms in a form such that the information may be evaluated in terms of relative reliability of different sorts of alarm devices and particular contractors and the frequency of false alarms attributable to different categories of sources. Editor's Note: Original Section 9-70, Disclaimer of liability, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
Any person who performs or causes to be performed any of the following acts shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $99 for each such act:
A. Failure to register an alarm device or give notice of changes in registration information within the required times and as required by this chapter.
B. Use of an automatic dial alarm or an exterior audible alarm device in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
C. Installing an alarm device without first providing the alarm administrator with the name, address and phone number of the owner and of the occupant (if different) of the premises wherein the alarm device is to be installed.
Charges for contractor registration, charges for false alarms, and penalties for violations shall be collected by the Administrator and placed in the general fund.
The Town, upon authorization of the Administrator, may institute civil proceedings to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to alarm devices on premises owned or controlled by the Town, including the Board of Education, the State of Connecticut or the government of the United States, nor to alarm devices installed in a licensed motor vehicle, trailer or boat.