Township of Moorestown, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Moorestown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Penalties for code violations — See Ch. 66.
Fire prevention and protection — See Ch. 79.
[Adopted 11-8-2004 by Ord. No. 29-2004[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. I, Fire Alarms, adopted 2-13-1989 by Ord. No. 1444-89, as amended.
Numerous persons currently transmit fire alarms to the Township by one or more various means referred to as "systems" in this article. By transmitting fire alarms to the Township, such persons engage in a relation with the Township, which relation imposes reciprocal duties, responsibilities and obligations on such persons. The number of false alarms transmitted by these fire alarm systems is troublesome, burdensome and costly to the Township, its fire districts, its volunteer fire-fighting personnel and its taxpayers. A need exists to curtail such false alarms. Local regulation by way of this article will serve to do so.
The purpose of this article is to provide for regulation of the installation, operation and maintenance of certain fire alarm systems within the Township, to regulate related conduct, to provide for enforcement and to provide administrative charges and other effective sanctions for false alarms and penalties for violations of this article.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPROVED CENTRAL STATION
An independent alarm-monitoring system which has not been disapproved by the respective fire district as capable of verifying alarms, identifying actual fire alarms and distinguishing them from noise, movement, radiation, other kinds of emanations and signals and other kinds of alarms, and which has agreed in writing with the enforcing agency to retransmit only verified fire alarms and only to the fire communications central dispatch.
AUDIBLE ALARM
A devise which emits an audible signal from the premises the device is designed to protect.
CENTRAL STATION ALARM
A device connected to an independent alarm monitoring firm or entity and requiring further telephone communication for fire response.
DIRECT DIAL ALARM
A device which, when actuated, causes a recorded message to be transmitted, via telephone, to the Township's designated fire communications central dispatch requesting fire response.
ENFORCING AGENCY
The agency set forth in § 45A-4 of this article.
FALSE ALARM
Either a signal, message or warning transmitted to the Township's fire communications central dispatch, indicating a fire condition; or an emission of an audible, visual or electronic transmission of any signal, message or warning intended to summon the services of Township fire-fighting personnel or apparatus, which signal, message or warning is activated by a cause other than one for which the transmitting system is specifically designed to respond, at a time when no fire exists.
FIRE ALARM SERVICE COMPANY
Performs installation, service, repair and/ or maintenance on a fire alarm system and its component parts and is certified by the Division of Fire Safety, State of New Jersey.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM OR SYSTEM OR ALARM SYSTEM
Any mechanical, electrical or electronic device which is designed or used for alerting others about the existence of any condition requiring the response of fire personnel and which emits and/or transmits a signal or message to one or more locations off the premises when actuated. Alarm systems include, but are not limited to, direct dial alarms, audible alarms, central station alarms and subscriber alarms.
FIRE CHIEF
The duly appointed Chief of the Moorestown Fire Department or the Lenola Fire Company.
FIRE COMMUNICATION CENTRAL DISPATCH
The Burlington County Police and Fire Communications Center and such other future facility or facilities as the Township may utilize.
FIRE DEPARTMENT OFFICER
The duly appointed line officer of the Moorestown Fire Department or the Lenola Fire Company.
FIRE DISTRICT
The Moorestown Fire District No. 1 or Moorestown Fire District No. 2, as the case may be.
FIRE OFFICIAL
The duly appointed Fire Official pursuant to Township ordinances.
INHABITED
Inhabited by one or more individuals, whether on a continual or an occasional basis, and includes times when no individual is upon or within premises occasionally inhabited.
PERSON
An individual, corporation, partnership or other entity.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Township Police Department
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Moorestown in the County of Burlington.
VERIFICATION
The procedure of initiating telephone contact, upon receipt of a fire alarm, with the protected premises to ascertain whether the fire alarm is authentic or is caused by accidental activation or alarm equipment failure or malfunction. If telephone contact by the approved central station with the protected premises cannot be made within four telephone rings, or if telephone contact is made but authentication of a fire alarm cannot be made within 45 seconds, then the approved central station shall immediately retransmit the fire alarm to the fire communications central dispatch.
A. 
This article shall be enforced to the extent permitted by law by each of the Boards of Fire Commissioners of Fire District Nos. 1 and 2 within the respective established limits of Fire District Nos. 1 and 2. The enforcing agency within each fire district shall be the Division of Fire Prevention, Fire District No. 1, and Bureau of Fire Prevention, Fire District No. 2, within the limits established by the present boundaries for that fire district.
B. 
Nothing herein shall preclude lawful enforcement.
A. 
Every person intending to install or cause to be installed, whether upon his premises or upon the premises of another, a fire alarm system within the Township shall file with the applicable enforcing agency, upon a form provided by the enforcing agency, an application for a certificate of registration for the fire alarm system. Each application shall include at least the following information and such additional information as the enforcing agency may prescribe:
(1) 
The name, street address, mailing address and telephone number of the applicant.
(2) 
If the applicant is an incorporated or unincorporated entity, the name, street address, mailing address and telephone number of the employee responsible for the installation and maintenance of the fire alarm system.
(3) 
A description of the place where the fire alarm system is to be installed, including the street address and the location within the building.
(4) 
The name, address and telephone number of the person who will install the fire alarm system.
(5) 
The name, address and telephone number of the person who will maintain and service the fire alarm system. A copy of every service agreement and every maintenance agreement shall be furnished to the enforcing agency before a certificate of registration will be issued.
(6) 
The name, residential addresses and residential telephone numbers of at least two persons who will respond upon notification to alarms outside of usual business hours.
B. 
The certificate of registration for the system will be issued by the enforcing agency when the following items in Subsection B(1), (2) and (3) have been delivered to the enforcing agency and Subsection B(4) shall have been completed:
(1) 
Evidence of approval of the application or evidence of a construction permit issued for the relevant building by the Township Construction Official.
(2) 
A certificate from the installer of the fire alarm system that the components and the system are listed by a recognized agency; the components are compatible with each other; the system has been properly installed and tested by certified technicians; the system is functioning properly in all respects; and the installer has a maintenance or service contract with the owner of the system. A copy of the contract shall have been furnished as provided in Subsection A(5) hereof.
(3) 
A written agreement by the owner of the system with the enforcing agency that the owner will properly maintain the system or, upon proper order of the enforcing agency, disconnect the portion of the system which transmits any fire alarm beyond the owner's premises, and keep in force a valid maintenance or service contract with a New Jersey Division of Fire Safety certified fire alarm service company.
(4) 
Review and approval of the system plans, operation and installation by the enforcing agency.
(5) 
Documentation that all competent staff and family members have been trained by the fire alarm installer in the operation of the fire alarm system, including knowledge of key pad entry codes, passwords, restoring or resetting the system after an alarm, procedures for placing the system in test and precautions to avoid a false alarm.
(6) 
Proof of an active telephone land line at the protected premises separate from any telephone circuit utilized for transmitting alarm signals.
(7) 
Effective March 1, 2004, all persons engaged in the installation or service of fire alarm systems, kitchen fire suppression systems, fire sprinkler systems and special hazard fire suppression systems shall be certified pursuant to the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:73-2.3(d).
(8) 
Every fire alarm system installer, contractor, alarm service company or licensed electrician maintaining fire alarm systems in the Township of Moorestown shall provide, to the respective enforcing agencies, a list of systems maintained in accordance with § 45A-5D. Said list shall include the name and address of the customer, the name of the monitoring company and the last date on which the system received its annual service. Said list shall be provided on or before January 31 of each year.
C. 
A fire alarm system, its components and devices that are installed, maintained and monitored in accordance with the applicable standards published by the National Fire Protection Association, as are approved by the enforcing agency, may be deemed by the enforcing agency to be in compliance with the requirements for certification if it complies in all other respects with this article.
D. 
Failure to have and keep in force a valid maintenance or service contract shall be cause for the enforcing agency to cancel or withdraw a certificate of registration.
A. 
This article applies with equal force and effect to all fire alarm systems which have been or will be installed, operated or otherwise placed in service within the Township effective from the date of this article's adoption.
B. 
Neither an application nor a certificate of registration or adherence to the regulations adopted herein is required for any existing fire alarm system, except as follows:
(1) 
A fire alarm system in an inhabited building upon and after the receipt of the first false alarm which does not meet the regulations as adopted herein. The application for a certificate of registration shall be filed with the applicable enforcing agency in accordance with the requirements of this article.
(2) 
A fire alarm system which is to be expanded, reduced, modified or replaced.
(3) 
A fire alarm system in an existing building or other structure, including all dwelling occupancies, prior to the transfer of ownership or title. The timely application shall be the responsibility of both the transferor and the transferee and shall also be a condition of continuing occupancy.
(4) 
A fire alarm system which is required to be maintained in vacant or otherwise noninhabited structures as provided in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (N.J.A.C 5:23-3.14) or the New Jersey Uniform Fire Prevention Code (N.J.A.C 5:18-3.1).
The enforcing agency shall:
A. 
Be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this article, including making reasonable on-site inspections and examinations of buildings and other premises.
B. 
Develop and promulgate regulations for the installation, maintenance, service and monitoring of fire alarm systems.
C. 
Develop and promulgate regulations for the operation of fire alarm system during construction, renovation, alteration and repair to the premises at and for which they are located.
D. 
Review and approve plans and specifications for the fire alarm systems and their installations, after such plans have been reviewed and approved by Township Fire Subcode Official.
E. 
Pass on applications for and to issue certificates of registration for fire alarm systems.
F. 
Issue such oral and written orders as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.
G. 
Make, keep and maintain records of all fire alarm systems, applications and certificates of registration, false alarms, regulations and changes in regulations, orders issued and similar information necessary or useful to the administration of this article.
H. 
Investigate and ascertain the causes of all false fire alarms and maintain records of the same.
I. 
Bill for, pursue and receive payment of administrative charges.
J. 
Establish criteria for the approval of central stations.
K. 
Have discretion, in the event an investigation discloses a failure by the fire alarm system owner to take timely and appropriate remedial steps to avoid further false alarms or his disregard of related lawful orders of the enforcing agency, after explicit written notice, hand delivered, to the fire alarm system owner, or, in the event that the owner is not present at the property, to such other person as is in occupancy of the property, including the operator in control, in accordance with the regulations in this article, with the consent of the respective Fire Chief, that the respective fire district not answer further alarms caused by or originating from such fire alarm system until such time as that system is recertified by the enforcing agency upon submission of a completed application.
L. 
Issue, or cause to be issued, summons to the Municipal Court or such other court as may have jurisdiction, for failure to comply with the provisions of this article.
No person shall:
A. 
Turn in, make, cause of knowingly participate in a false alarm.
B. 
Fail to make a timely application required by this article.
C. 
Own, possess, operate or cause to be operated a fire alarm system for which a certificate of registration has not been issued and is not in good standing, to the extent one is required by this article.
D. 
Operate or cause to be operated a fire alarm system:
(1) 
In a location or manner, or in any other respect, prohibited or not permitted by this article;
(2) 
Which has previously transmitted a false alarm from an inhabited building, until recertified by the enforcing agency upon submission of a completed application;
(3) 
Which has been expanded, reduced or modified or is a replacement for a prior system, until certified by the enforcing agency upon submission of a completed application;
(4) 
Whose certificate of registration has been canceled or withdrawn by the enforcing agency;
(5) 
Which uses a smoke detector as a sensing device, wholly or partially, and which is designed to transmit (or which in fact transmits) its alarm signal to a destination other than an approved central station.
(6) 
Which uses a carbon monoxide detector to transmit a fire alarm signal to a destination other than the premises at which it is installed.
E. 
Fail to comply with a lawful regulation or order of the enforcing agency or fail to pay an administrative charge for a false alarm.
F. 
Obstruct, hinder, delay or interfere by force with the enforcing agency or its authorized representative in the exercise of any power or the discharge of any function or duty provided by or reasonably implied from this article.
G. 
If he or she is the owner, tenant or such other person having a possessory right to the subject building or other premises, fail after proper request to permit the enforcing agency or its authorized representative to have prompt entry to such building or other premises for the purpose of lawful inspection or examination pursuant to this article.
A. 
Upon the first false alarm during any calendar year, an order to file an application for a certificate of registration and take corrective action, in accordance with the provisions of § 45A-6 this article, shall be issued and served on the fire alarm system owner (and to any known possessor or operator of the system, or known occupant of the premises of the alarm system, if any of them is other than said owner).
B. 
Upon the receipt of a second false alarm during a calendar year, an administrative charge shall be payable as provided under § 45A-11A hereof, and the enforcing agency shall deliver to the fire alarm system owner (and to any known possessor or operator of the system, or known occupant of the premises of the alarm system, if any of them is other than said owner) a written warning that the subject communicating device may be disconnected upon receipt of any further false alarm or alarms.
C. 
In the event that two or more false alarms are received during the same thirty-day period, or twice within a twenty-four-hour period, the Fire Official, Fire Chief or fire officer in charge may order the disconnection of the transmission apparatus from the particular fire alarm system which has transmitted such false alarms, provided that the notice procedures set forth in this article shall have been first complied with.
D. 
In the event false alarm investigation reveals that the system does not meet the standards, requirements or regulations prescribed in this article, the Fire Official, Fire Chief or fire officer in charge may order the immediate disconnection of the alarm system from the fire alarm transmission apparatus.
E. 
In the event evidence reveals that the cause of the alarm is the failure of the registrant's, building owner's, tenant's or occupant's alarm company or central monitoring station to take precautions to prevent the transmission of alarms during testing, maintenance, service or installation, the alarm company or monitoring company as identified as the entity responsible for the unwanted false alarm shall be subject to an administrative charge as provided in § 45A-11 of this article.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to:
A. 
The general alerting alarms that may be used by fire companies, emergency squads or emergency management agencies to summon responses of their members.
B. 
Alarm systems affixed to motor vehicles.
C. 
Alarm system installed in public buildings owned by the Township of Moorestown or Moorestown Board of Education.
A. 
Single-family dwellings and two-family dwellings:
(1) 
Upon a second false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $50.
(2) 
Upon a third false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $150.
(3) 
Upon a fourth false alarm and upon each subsequent false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative change of $400.
B. 
All properties, with the exception of those described in § 45A-11A:
(1) 
Upon a second false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $200.
(2) 
Upon a third false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $400.
(3) 
Upon a fourth false alarm and upon each subsequent false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $600.
C. 
The administrative charge for alarm companies and central monitoring stations shall be $500 for each occurrence of alarm activations transmitted to the Fire Department in accordance with § 45A-9E during testing, maintenance, service or installation.
A. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 45A-12A, regarding fines for violation of this article, was repealed 3-20-2006 by Ord. No. 5-2006. See now Ch. 66, Penalties for Code Violations.
B. 
All fines and court costs shall be payable to the Clerk of the Township Municipal Court. All fines, exclusive of court costs, assessed as a result of summonses issued by the fire officials or fire inspectors of the respective fire districts will be paid thereafter by the Municipal Court Clerk to the Treasurers of said respective fire districts. All court costs and all fines assessed as a result of summonses issued by anyone else shall be paid to the Township Clerk by the Municipal Court Clerk.
[Adopted 2-13-1989 by Ord. No. 1445-89[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 10 of this ordinance provided that it may also be cited as the "Moorestown Burglar Alarm Ordinance."
The purpose of this article is to establish regulations concerning the operation and maintenance of burglar alarm systems within the Township of Moorestown, to regulate related conduct, to provide for enforcement and to provide administrative charges and other effective sanctions for false alarms and penalties for violations of this article.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM SYSTEM
Any mechanical, electrical or electronic device which is designed or used for the detection of unauthorized entry into a building, other structure or facility or for alerting others about the commission of any unlawful act within a building, other structure or facility or for alerting others about the existence of any other condition requiring response of police or emergency personnel, other than a fire alarm system controlled by the Moorestown Fire Alarm Ordinance[1]; and which emits and/or transmits an audible and/or visual signal or message when actuated. "Alarm systems" include, but are not limited to, direct-dial telephone devices, audible alarms, central station alarms and subscriber alarms.
AUDIBLE ALARM
A device that emits an audible signal from the premises it is designed to protect.
CENTRAL STATION ALARM
A device connected to an independent alarm-monitoring firm or entity and requiring further telephone communication for police or emergency response.
DIRECT-DIAL ALARM
A device which, when actuated, causes a recorded message to be transmitted, via telephone, to the Moorestown Township Police Communications Center requesting emergency response.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER
The primary telephone number advertised to the public for requesting emergency services.
FALSE ALARM
A signal, message or warning transmitted to the Moorestown Township police headquarters, indicating a police need or an emergency condition, which signal, message or warning is activated by a cause other than one for which the transmitting system is specifically designed to respond, at a time when no police need or emergency condition exists.
PERSON
An individual, corporation, partnership or other entity.
POLICE
The Moorestown Township Police Department.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Moorestown in the County of Burlington.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Article I of this chapter.
This article and its requirements shall apply with equal force and effect to all alarm systems, whether placed in service prior to or subsequent to the effective date of this article.
A. 
No person shall turn in, make, cause or knowingly participate in a false alarm.
B. 
Every person who is the owner, lessee or possessor of an alarm system shall, before and during operation of such alarm system, comply with the following regulations:
(1) 
Except as provided in § 45A-18 hereof, every person who maintains an alarm system or systems within the Township shall forthwith provide current information to the Police Department, consisting of the names and telephone numbers of individuals who may be contacted on a twenty-four-hour basis in case of emergency. This information is to be filed with the Police Department when the alarm system is initially placed into service and must be revised immediately whenever changes are necessary.
(2) 
Audible alarms shall be silenced within 30 minutes after activation, or shall be equipped with a timing device that automatically and effectively silences the audible alarm within 30 minutes after activation.
(3) 
All direct-dial alarms shall be coded to dial a special telephone number provided by the Police Department. No dial alarm shall be coded to dial the Township's emergency phone number. In addition, all direct-dial alarms shall be coded to notify a relative, neighbor or other third party, who must respond to reset the alarm systems.
(4) 
All direct-dial alarms shall be capable of being disconnected by the owner to permit a call to the Police Department in the event a false alarm occurs.
(5) 
All direct-dial alarms shall be equipped with a device that will prevent more than three repeat transmissions of an alarm message for the same emergency to the Police Department.
[Amended 3-20-2006 by Ord. No. 5-2006]
A. 
The Chief of Police shall investigate each false alarm and maintain a record of each false alarm, including the date and, if determined, the cause.
[Amended 11-30-2015 by Ord. No. 25-2015]
B. 
Fine schedule.
(1) 
Following the third false alarm in any calendar year, the Chief of Police shall cause a notice to be mailed to the owner of the property advising that each subsequent false alarm in the calendar year will result in the imposition of a fine in accordance with the following schedule:
[Amended 11-30-2015 by Ord. No. 25-2015]
(a) 
Fourth false alarm: $50 fine.
(b) 
Fifth false alarm: $100 fine.
(c) 
Sixth false alarm: $150 fine.
(d) 
Seventh false alarm: $200 fine.
(e) 
Eighth false alarm: $250 fine.
(f) 
Ninth false alarm: $300 fine.
(g) 
Tenth false alarm: $350 fine.
(h) 
Eleventh false alarm: $400 fine.
(i) 
Twelfth false alarm: $450 fine.
(j) 
Each subsequent false alarm: $500 fine.
(2) 
Payment shall be due within 72 hours of receipt of the written notice of the false alarm and the fine in accordance with the schedule.
C. 
If an investigation discloses continued abuse of the alarm connection privilege, and a failure by the subscriber to take remedial steps to avoid false alarms, the Police Department's investigating official shall have the right to require disconnection from the Police Department dispatch center. In that event, the alarm subscriber will be notified of the disconnection, both orally and in writing, as soon as reasonably possible by the Police Department.
D. 
If the Police Department finds that an alarm system is malfunctioning, the Police Department may, after giving oral confirmation of the malfunctioning alarm system to the owner, possessor or operator thereof, discontinue police response to that alarm system. The Police Department shall also, as soon as reasonably possible, forward to the owner, possessor or operator written notice by mail of the discontinuance of police response.
The Police Department will not accept information otherwise required by § 45A-16B(1) for central station alarms. It will be the responsibility of the central station and its owner and operator to notify the owner of the respective alarm system of alarm activations.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to:
A. 
The general alerting alarms that may be used by fire companies, emergency squads or emergency management agencies to summon responses of their members.
B. 
Alarm systems affixed to motor vehicles.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former §  45A-20, Violations and penalties, which section immediately followed this section, was repealed 3-20-2006 by Ord. No. 5-2006. See now Ch. 66, Penalties for Code Violations.