Town of Clarence, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clarence 10-11-1995 by L.L. No. 5-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 59-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Town of Clarence Alarm Code."

§ 59-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Clarence by reducing the number of avoidable alarms of fire, intrusion, holdup or other emergencies which contribute to ineffective utilization of police and fire emergency agencies, require emergency responses which are susceptible to high accident rates, interfere with genuine emergencies (responses) and produce unnecessary alarm noise to the surrounding community.

§ 59-3 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectfully ascribed to them by this section:
ALARM SYSTEM
A device or an assembly of equipment which is designed to detect smoke, an abnormal rise in temperature, fire, medical emergency or an entry into or exit from a building, structure or facility and by reason thereof emits an audible response intended to alert persons outside of the premises and/or transmit a signal or message to an emergency agency either directly or through a private answering point.
AUTOMATIC DIALER
A device that automatically dials and relays a prerecorded message to an emergency agency.
EMERGENCY AGENCY
The Erie County Sheriff, New York State Police, fire company, central fire dispatch or other emergency dispatch center.

§ 59-4 Existing systems or devices.

The owners and lessees of premises having alarm systems shall comply with all provisions of this chapter on or before one year from the effective date of this chapter.

§ 59-5 Automatic cutoff system.

A. 
No person shall install or maintain an external audible alarm device which does not contain an operational automatic cutoff system which turns off the external audible alarm after a period not to exceed 10 minutes.
B. 
An automatic dialer connected directly to an emergency agency shall automatically disconnect and/or terminate its message after the message has been transmitted a maximum of two times. Notwithstanding the foregoing however, the total transmission time of all messages shall not exceed five minutes.

§ 59-6 Enhanced 911 or 911 emergency.

A. 
No alarm system shall have an automatic dialer feature or other type of alarm alert which connects automatically to enhanced 911 or 911 emergency telephone systems.
B. 
There shall be no automatic alarm system with direct communication of any type to an emergency agency without prior, written authorization from the emergency agency where the alarms terminate.

§ 59-7 Avoidable alarms.

A. 
The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the owner, user, custodian or lessee of an alarm system or of his employees requiring an emergency response when in fact an emergency does not exist constitutes an avoidable alarm. An avoidable alarm also includes intentional activation of an alarm system when the activator knows an emergency situation does not exist.
B. 
An avoidable alarm does not include alarms activated by violent conditions of nature or similar causes beyond the control of the user, owner or operator of the alarm system. The activation of an alarm system under any circumstances in which the activator reasonably believes that the emergency situation exists shall not be deemed to be an avoidable alarm.

§ 59-8 Keyholder requirements.

A. 
A list of responsible persons (minimum of two) with access to the protected building must be provided to the Town Building Department for systems that do not transmit a signal to a central station. It must contain the following:
(1) 
Name.
(2) 
Home phone number.
(3) 
Business phone number.
B. 
Protected buildings which automatically transmit a signal to a central station shall provide the required keyholder information to that agency.
C. 
Responsible persons should reside within a reasonable distance from the protected building.

§ 59-9 Charges for avoidable alarms.

[Amended 3-10-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
An owner or lessee of real property to which an emergency agency responds as a result of avoidable alarm shall pay a fee for each such response in each calendar year as follows:
A. 
Police agency response.
(1) 
First through third avoidable alarm responses: no charge.
(2) 
Fourth through sixth avoidable alarm responses: $35 for each.
(3) 
For each avoidable alarm response after the sixth, the fee shall increase by $10 from the fee of $35 provided at Subsection A(2). Example: Avoidable alarm response:
(a) 
Seventh: $45.
(b) 
Eighth: $55.
B. 
Fire Department response.
(1) 
First avoidable alarm response: no charge.
(2) 
Second avoidable alarm response: $50.
(3) 
Third and over avoidable alarm responses: $100 for each.

§ 59-10 Notice of excessive use.

The owner or lessee of real property which receives an emergency response by reason of an avoidable alarm shall be notified in writing by means of first class mail of all avoidable alarms up to three police alarms and/or one fire alarms in a calendar year. The letter shall inform the owner or lessee of the times and types of emergency responses provided to the address location and shall contain with it a copy of this chapter.

§ 59-11 Administrative review.

A committee consisting of a Clarence Building Inspector, a representative of a service organization and a professional business person shall establish policies and procedures whereby an owner of real property or lessee thereof on which an alarm system has been installed and who has been notified of an avoidable alarm may present evidence as to why any such alarm should not be classified as an avoidable alarm. The committee shall receive such evidence and make recommendations and findings of fact concerning such classification. The Committee shall make the final determination concerning a classification, which determination shall be reviewable only pursuant to procedures under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.[1] To challenge the classification of an alarm as an avoidable alarm, the real property owner or lessee thereof shall, in writing, notify the Committee within 20 days after receipt of notice of the avoidable alarm. The failure to give timely notice shall be deemed a waiver of the right to review the determination.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 7801 et seq. of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

§ 59-12 Payment of charges.

[Amended 9-22-1999 by L.L. No. 6-1999]
Avoidable alarm charges shall be paid to an office of repository authorized to collect such charges by the Town Board from time to time. The office of repository designated to receive payments for avoidable alarm charges will be posted in the office of the Town Clerk.

§ 59-13 Failure to remit fee.

Failure of a real property owner or lessee of property on which an alarm system is installed to pay the avoidable alarm charge, within 30 days from notice of the amount due shall be served with a summons and shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.

§ 59-14 Enforcement.

The Town of Clarence Building Department shall enforce this chapter for alarm systems which detect medical emergencies and entry or exit from a building, structure or facility and for alarm systems which detect smoke, fire or an abnormal rise in temperature.

§ 59-15 Penalties for offenses.

Any person, business, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other entity that does not pay the fee as established in this chapter or who violates any other provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during which a violation occurs, continues or is permitted.