[HISTORY: Derived from Ch. IV, Sec. 4-1, of the Revised General Ordinances of the Borough of Fort Lee, 1978, adopted 3-1-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM CONSOLE
- The console or control panel of devices giving a visual or audio response, or both, and located within the confines of the police or communications department of the borough.
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any type of alarm system actuating equipment in the alarm console providing warning of intrusion, fire, smoke, flood or other peril.
- ALARM INSTALLATION
- Any alarm system or combination of systems installed for one or more buildings at a location other than the alarm console.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Equipment or a device or an assembly of equipment and devices designed to signal the presence of an emergency or a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which the police or fire department may be expected to respond. In this chapter, the term "alarm system" shall include the terms "alarm devices," "local alarms," and "dial alarms," as those terms are herein defined.
- The abbreviation for American National Standards Institute.
- DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE
- Any person designated by the Superintendent of Communications and/or Communications Department to perform a function required or permitted by the provisions of this chapter.
- DIAL ALARM
- Any type of alarm system using telephone lines transmitting an alarm directly through the police switchboard providing warning of intrusion, fire, smoke, flood or other peril.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm or signal of an alarm system actuated by inadvertence, negligence, intentional or unintentional act of a person other than an intruder and including as well alarms caused by mechanical failure, malfunctioning or improper installation of the alarm system and related equipment, but not including alarms created by mechanical failure, malfunctioning or improper installation of the alarm console, or telephone lines over which the alarm user or alarm company has any control. There is hereby created by the Mayor and Council a rebuttable presumption that if in the investigation resulting from a fire alarm there is no evidence of smoke or fire, then and in that event a false alarm is presumed.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm system which when actuated produces a signal not connected to the alarm console or the police switchboard, such as store burglar alarms actuating bell devices, providing warning of intrusion, fire, smoke, flood or other peril. The term "local alarm" shall not include an alarm system on a motor vehicle, provided such system is not interconnected with an alarm device, a dial alarm or a local alarm. The term "local alarm" shall also not include any alarm equipment designed to signal solely within the building (or series of buildings, if owned by the same person) on which it is located and which is not designed to emit signals visible or audible to persons outside such building (or series of buildings).
- MAYOR AND COUNCIL
- The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Fort Lee.
- The National Fire Protection Association.
- Any person owning an alarm device who has obtained a permit according to the provisions of this chapter.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Fort Lee Police Department.
- A person owning a local alarm or dial alarm who has registered the local alarm or dial alarm according to the provisions of this chapter.
- The abbreviation for Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
Any connection to the police alarm console shall be of a type inspected and approved by the Chief of Police of the borough or his designated representative and any person aggrieved by the decision may appeal the decision in writing within 10 days to the Mayor and Council of the borough.
All alarm devices existing as of the date of the adoption of this chapter (except dial alarms) may be connected hereunder to the alarm console within 60 days after delivery and installation of the alarm console with no connection fee.
A connection fee of $50 and an annual retainer or maintenance fee of $100 shall be charged to each subscriber to the police alarm console, except, however, that no fee shall be charged to the borough or the Board of Education of the Borough of Fort Lee for annual charges or console connection charges for an existing or future systems in public buildings.
All alarms or alarm devices connected to equipment in the Police Department or Communications Department of the borough shall be disconnected within 60 days after delivery and installation of the alarm console.
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, establishing yearly registration fees, added 3-9-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-07, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 10-11-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-28.
The borough shall be under no duty or obligation to any permittee or to any registrant, the alarm console and allied equipment being maintained at will and subject to termination at any time by cancellation of the system by ordinance duly adopted by the Mayor and Council of the borough.
No person shall install or operate an alarm device at any time after 60 days after August 30, 1978, without first having obtained a permit as provided hereunder.
An application for a permit under this chapter shall be signed by an authorized representative of the applicant, shall be made on forms furnished by the Police Chief or his designated representative and shall contain at least the name of the applicant, the address of the residence or businesses in or upon which the alarm device has been or will be installed, telephone number of the applicant, the type of device, the licensed alarm business or business selling, installing, monitoring, inspecting, servicing, responding to and/or maintaining the alarm device, and the name and telephone number of at least one other person who can be reached at any time, day or night, and who is authorized to respond to an alarm signal and who can open the premises in which the system is installed; and other information as may be required by the Mayor and Council or the Police Chief of the borough.
Local alarms shall be registered within 60 days of August 30, 1978, but no fee shall be charged therefor. The registration shall set forth information similar to the information required on an application for an alarm device permit.
Any permit or registration granted hereunder shall be accepted upon the express condition that the permittee or registrant shall indemnify and hold the Borough of Fort Lee harmless for and on account of any and all damages arising out of the activities of the permittee or registrant or its alarm contractor and arising out of the operation or failure to operate of the alarm system on the permittee's or registrant's premises and arising out of the operation or failure to operate of the police alarm console.
For purposes of this chapter, every permittee is deemed to be the proper party to accept service of process for any violation arising out of this chapter. In the event of any change of ownership or control of any alarm system, the new owner must, within 72 hours of assuming ownership or control of an alarm system, complete an application for a permit as required by this section.
Within six months after August 30, 1978, all alarm devices, local alarms and dial alarms installed in commercial or public buildings shall utilize equipment and methods for installations substantially equivalent to or exceeding the minimum applicable UL, ANSI or NFPA standards or standards in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code.
Within six months after August 30, 1978, all alarm devices, local alarms and dial alarms installed in one- or two-family residences shall utilize equipment which shall be installed in a safe, reliable and workmanlike manner.
Local alarms shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. In addition thereto, those persons having local alarms shall be required to leave with the Police Department the name of a person who can be reached in case of malfunction of the equipment in order that the device can be temporarily disconnected; in lieu thereof, this requirement can be fulfilled by leaving a sealed key to the premises with the Borough Chief of Police, provided that in so doing the owner is willing to release the borough and the Police Department from any and all claims to damages or loss in connection with the entry. In the event of a malfunction of the equipment and no person can be located to secure the device then the owner shall be liable to pay a penalty of $25. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, in the event that police have to respond to a false alarm, the penalties for false alarms prescribed in this chapter shall apply.
For local alarms the owners shall pay to the borough an annual fee of $10 to cover the cost of registration and maintenance of records.
Dial alarm devices shall be permitted only under the following conditions:
All owners of dial alarms shall register same within 60 days of August 30, 1978, in the manner prescribed under § 126-4B for applications for alarm device permits.
No dial alarm devices shall be finally registered until a test alarm has been made by the owner in conjunction with the Chief of Police or his designated representative.
No dial alarms shall be permitted unless they are of a type approved by the Chief of Police in accordance with the rules promulgated under § 126-11. Any such equipment shall have the approval of the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company or its successor.
All dial alarms shall be coded to dial the general police emergency number.
Any dial alarm device shall be coded as well to notify a relative, neighbor, or other third party who will be disclosed in the registration of the equipment as required by this chapter, and who is authorized to respond to the emergency message and open the premises on which the dial alarm is installed.
All dial alarms shall be capable of being disconnected to enable the owner or authorized representative of the owner to call the police switchboard to indicate that a false alarm has occurred.
For dial alarm devices, the owners shall pay to the borough an annual fee of $25 to cover the cost of registration and testing, along with ancillary tape devices at the police desk necessitated by these systems.
Owners of dial alarm devices shall be governed by the false alarm procedures and penalties set forth in this chapter.
In the event that any person has a dial alarm device in existence on August 30, 1978, he shall have 30 days in which to pay the annual fee. Any person not so complying shall be liable to a penalty payable to the Borough of Fort Lee in the amount of $50.
The contents of any recorded message from a dial alarm device shall be intelligible and in a format approved by the Chief of Police, shall state the location and nature of the alarm conditions and shall not exceed 15 seconds in length.
Upon a single stimulus, the dial alarm may place two separate calls to the general police emergency number. No such message shall be transmitted more than two times as a result of a single stimulus of the mechanism. There must be at least three minutes between the completion of the first call and initiation of the second, and the second call shall be clearly identified as the second call. After the second call, the device shall automatically disconnect itself.
The time gap between acknowledgment of the call at the police switchboard and delivery of the recorded message shall not exceed five seconds.
Every alarm business selling or leasing to any person a dial alarm which is installed on such person's premises in the borough after August 30, 1978, shall furnish that person with instructions that provide adequate information to enable persons using such device to operate it properly, and if the device is to be serviced or maintained by another alarm business, shall furnish such other alarm business with a manual or other information necessary to enable it to service or properly maintain such device.
If the Police Chief, or his designated representative, determines that such information is incomplete, unclear or inadequate, he may require the alarm business to revise the information to meet his approval, and then to distribute the revised information to persons who have such devices installed as well as to persons subsequently having such devices installed.
Every alarm business selling or leasing to any person a dial alarm which is installed on such person's premises in the borough after August 30, 1978, shall provide or make available at all times service to repair such device should it malfunction and shall furnish to the person buying or leasing such device written information concerning how service may be obtained at any time, including the telephone number to call for service.
Any information required to be distributed under this chapter shall also be filed with the Police Chief or his designated representative.
All fire alarm systems shall be installed in accordance with the fire prevention laws of the borough or higher authority and with approval of the Fire Marshal.
Any permittee, utilizing the services of an alarm business, connected to the alarm console shall provide for a representative of the alarm business to be on call at all times and such service shall be provided within eight hours of notification by the Police Department and any malfunctions of any equipment.
Any unauthorized equipment may be disconnected by the Chief of Police or his designated representative for noncompliance with this chapter and any person installing or maintaining unauthorized equipment shall be prosecuted for violation of this chapter and each and every day the equipment is in operation shall be considered a separate violation. Any permittee, by acceptance of the permit, and any registrant shall be deemed as having consented to inspection of the premises on which the alarm devices, local alarms or dial alarms are installed at reasonable hours by the Chief of Police or his designated representative.
It shall be unlawful for an alarm device, dial alarm or local alarm to ring or put forth any other sound for a period in excess of 30 minutes. Any violation of this requirement shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $50 for each violation.
Any person testing or performing cleaning, repair or maintenance work on any alarm covered under this chapter shall notify the Communications Department of the borough, in writing, prior to any such work being performed. Failure to do so shall subject such person, as well as the permittee, to the penalties set forth in Chapter 1, Art. III, § 1-17.
The sensory mechanism of alarm devices, local alarms and dial alarms shall be adjusted so as to suppress false indications and not to be actuated by impulses due to pressure changes in water pipes, short flashes of light, wind, noises, rattling or vibration at doors or windows or other forces unrelated to general alarms.
All components of alarm equipment must be maintained by the owner in good repair and when evidence exists that there has been failure to comply with the operational requirements of this chapter, the Chief of Police is then authorized to demand that such device be disconnected until such time as compliance with current requirements is reestablished.
When an alarm business' service to its subscribers is disrupted for any reason by the alarm business, or the alarm business becomes aware of such disruption, it shall promptly notify its subscriber by telephone that protection is no longer being provided. If, however, the alarm business has written instructions from its subscriber not to make such notification by telephone during certain hours, the alarm business may comply with such instructions.
In addition to any other information that may be required to be supplied by the provisions of this chapter, the Police Chief or his designated representative may require an alarm business to furnish him with certain statistical data which may be reasonably available relative to specified periods of operation after August 30, 1978.
In addition to the normal power supply, alarm devices, local alarms and dial alarms shall have an independent battery, of equal voltage to the normal power supply, which is kept fully charged and shall be capable of switching from one power supply to the other automatically.
All fees required by this chapter shall be due and payable on January 1 of any calendar year. All fees required by this chapter shall be paid to the Borough Clerk.
[Amended 3-9-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-07]
In the case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Fire Department in a manner to be prescribed by rules and regulations in accordance with § 126-11. In addition, in the case of false alarms, the Fire Department shall cause an investigation to be made and keep a record of the alarms for file.
Any permittee, person or entity who owns or controls an alarm system, which alarm system is actuated as a false alarm, shall be subject to the following fines:
Where the investigation of the Fire Department discloses continued abuse of the privilege of connection to the alarm console or a disregard of the permittee for taking remedial steps to avoid false alarms, the Mayor and Council reserves the right to require disconnection from the alarm console for a limited or permanent time, provided that no such permit shall be revoked or suspended without giving the permittee an opportunity to show cause before the Mayor and Council as to why such action should not be taken.
The Chief of Police may promulgate rules and regulations supplementing this chapter in order to provide for recordkeeping, efficient management and administration of the system; provided, however, that the Mayor and Council shall first approve the rules or any changes thereto.
Any person, firm or corporation found guilty in the Municipal Court of the borough for violation of the terms of this chapter shall be subject to a fine as stated in Chapter 1, Art. III, § 1-17; provided, however, that any violation of this chapter for which a fine or penalty has been provided in another section shall be subject to the fine or penalty provided in the section and this section shall not apply.
[Added 3-9-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-07]
Any registration fee, penalty to pay an annual fee or fine imposed by this chapter, or by any court of competent jurisdiction, for a violation of this chapter which remains unpaid for more than 30 days shall be come a lien on the property at which the alarm is located. The fact that a tenant or other temporary lessee may have been the cause of the violation and the fine is of no consequence, inasmuch as the Mayor and Council finds that the record owner of the property is ultimately responsible for compliance with borough ordinances. The Borough Treasurer, upon notification from the Mayor and Council (after appropriate certification from the enforcement officer) shall place a lien in the amount of the fine imposed by the court. The lien placed upon such land(s) shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon said land(s), the same to bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as are taxes.