Township of Allegheny, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Allegheny 6-13-1988 (§§ 6.190 to 6.197 of the 1986 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Police Department — See Ch. 40.
Emergency services reimbursement — See Ch. 103.

§ 61-1 Definitions.

Unless otherwise expressly provided, the following words shall for the purposes of this chapter have the following meanings:
ALARM SYSTEM
A device or system designed for the detection of an unauthorized entry or an attempted unauthorized entry on premises or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act, or both, or for the detection of fire, and which, when actuated, emits sound or light or transmits a signal or message.
AUDIBLE ALARM
A device or system which causes an alarm to be sounded in such a manner that it may be heard by a person in or around the premises from which it is transmitted or received.
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
A device or system which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and transmit by voice message or code signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency service response. For the purposes of this chapter, an automatic protection device is deemed to be an alarm system only if its activation directly results in the response of emergency services.
EMERGENCY SERVICES
Those public services that provide medical assistance, police protection or fire protection.
A. 
The activation of an alarm system or automatic protection device which indicates the existence of an emergency situation when, in fact, no such emergency exists.
B. 
An alarm that activates during testing, repair or maintenance if prior notification of the testing, repair or maintenance is not given to the Township prior to beginning such activity.
C. 
The activation of an alarm system or automatic protection device by natural disasters or severe weather conditions which are unpreventable activations of the system by the technology of the system itself are not considered false alarms.
D. 
The activation of an automatic protection device or alarm system which does not directly or indirectly result in the request for emergency services is not considered a false alarm.
SYSTEM OWNER OR SUBSCRIBER
User, tenant, lessee, agent, employee, resident or other entity who or which owns or is entitled to possession of any premises on which an alarm system or automatic protection device has been installed.
TOWNSHIP
The Board of Supervisors of the Township of Allegheny, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

§ 61-2 Information card.

The Township will provide an information card, available at the Township office, which, when completed, will make important information available to emergency services which are required to respond to alarm system and automatic protection device activations. In the event a system owner or subscriber fails to complete and file the information card with the Township, and in the further event that the system owner's or subscriber's alarm system or automatic protection device is activated and emergency services respond to the activation and in the further event that the responding emergency services cannot find the location of the premises of the system owner or subscriber whose system has activated, the alarm will be recorded as a false alarm. The information card is not a permit required for the use of an alarm system nor shall any fee be charged to the system owner or subscriber for the completion and filing of the requested information card.

§ 61-3 Duty to report false alarms.

Any emergency services officer who responds to a false alarm shall report the same to the Township and to the Allegheny Township Chief of Police who shall monitor and maintain records concerning such false alarms.

§ 61-4 Alarm systems or devices declared public nuisance.

A. 
Any alarm system or automatic protection device which produces false alarms shall constitute a public nuisance if such system or device activates more than one false alarm in any thirty-day period or more than two false alarms in any ninety-day period or more than three false alarms in any one-hundred-eighty-day period or more than four false alarms in any three-hundred-sixty-five-day period.
B. 
Any alarm system or automatic protection device which is activated by an individual without proper cause, as opposed to being activated by a defect of the system itself, and which either directly or indirectly causes a response by emergency services shall be declared a public nuisance.
C. 
In the event that any testing, repair or maintenance of an alarm system or automatic protection device is not completed within 12 hours from the time of the beginning of the testing, repair or maintenance of the system or in the event that notification of the completion of the testing, repair or maintenance of the system is not given to the Township, the system shall be considered a public nuisance.

§ 61-5 Notification of public nuisance.

A. 
When any alarm system or automatic protection device shall constitute a public nuisance as set forth herein, the Chief of Police shall notify the system owner or subscriber that the system has been declared a public nuisance and shall notify the system owner or subscriber the reason therefor. The Chief of Police shall also notify the system owner or subscriber that any future false alarms shall result in prosecution for violation of this chapter.
B. 
The notice required by this section shall be given by the Chief of Police, or his designee, to the system owner or subscriber by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service by handing a copy of the notice to the system owner or subscriber or to an adult individual found on the premises. If personal service is made, the Chief of Police, or his designee, shall file a proof of service with the Township, which proof shall be under oath and which proof shall designate the person upon whom service was made, together with the time, date, place and manner of service.

§ 61-6 Abatement of nuisance.

A. 
Upon the system owner or subscriber being notified that his alarm system or automatic protection device has been declared a public nuisance, the system owner or subscriber shall have four days, starting at 12:00 midnight of the day notified, to abate the nuisance and any additional false alarms occurring within the four days shall not subject the system owner or subscriber to penalties under this chapter.
B. 
Following receipt of notice by the Chief of Police or his designee that an alarm system or automatic protection device constitutes a public nuisance, and prior to any additional false alarms occurring more than four days after said notification, the system owner or subscriber shall, if he elects to continue operation of the system, file an affidavit with the Chief of Police indicating under oath that the false alarms previously caused were caused by a known mechanical or technical defect within the system. There shall be attached to the affidavit a statement or work order from a competent repair person who is qualified to perform maintenance and repair work on that particular alarm system or automatic protection device indicating that the system was defective and that any and all defects have been remedied.
C. 
The system owner or subscriber may elect to disconnect his alarm system or automatic protection device. If the system owner or subscriber shall so elect, neither the Township, its agent, servants or employees nor any emergency services, their agents, volunteers or employees shall be liable in any way to the system owner or subscriber upon any cause of action whatsoever, legal or equitable, as a result of said system owner's or subscriber's election to disconnect.

§ 61-7 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any system owner or subscriber who shall fail to file the affidavit required by § 61-6B of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Any system owner or subscriber whose alarm system or automatic protection device causes a false alarm after said system has been declared a public nuisance and after said system owner or subscriber has received notice thereof shall, upon a summary conviction before a District Justice, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $75 nor more than $300, plus costs, provided additionally, however, that beginning with the second false alarm after the system has been declared a public nuisance and after notice thereof has been given to the system owner or subscriber, the minimum fine shall be increased by $25 for the second and each successive offense, not to exceed $300 per offense.
[Amended 1-10-2005 by Ord. No. 2-2005]

§ 61-8 Exemption.

The Allegheny Township Volunteer Fire Companies' buildings and offices are hereby exempt from the operation of this chapter.