[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Fishkill 1-18-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Local Law Regulating Alarm Systems in the Town of Fishkill."
It is the purpose of this chapter to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Fishkill by reducing the number of avoidable alarms to emergency agencies. Avoidable alarms contribute to ineffective utilization of public safety manpower and equipment. In addition, avoidable alarms require emergency responses which may contribute to a high accident rate and delayed responses to genuine emergencies. This chapter seeks to ensure that police and fire communications and ambulance facilities will be available to dispatch police, fire and ambulance personnel for actual emergencies and to alleviate the nuisance of audible alarms in the Town. Another purpose of this chapter is to provide the Town and emergency agencies with the names of responsible people to contact in the case of activation of an alarm.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM INSTALLER
- Must be a state-licensed installer (Department of State, General Business Law § 69-n, Subdivision 5; 6-30-1992).
- ALARM SYSTEM
- A device or an assembly of equipment which emits an audible response which is intended to alert persons outside a premises to the existence of a hazard or emergency or which is intended to alert emergency agencies by automatically dialing or signaling an emergency agency or which is connected to a private answering point for the purpose of reporting such alarms to emergency agencies or which is directly connected to the County Fire Control Center or other emergency agency.
- ALARM USER
- Any person who owns, leases or uses an alarm system within the Town of Fishkill except for a person whose alarm system is on a motor vehicle or is a proprietary system. If, however, an alarm system is at a premises (other than a proprietary system) in the Town of Fishkill, the person using such system is an alarm user.
- AVOIDABLE ALARM
- 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 his/her employees or agents, or through any other cause which, through direct connection to an emergency agency or through notification of an emergency agency by a private answering point or automatic dialing device or through notification to an emergency agency by any second party or means, indicates that an emergency situation exists requiring response within the Town when, in fact, an emergency situation does not exist. An "avoidable alarm" also includes the knowing or intentional activation of an alarm to an emergency agency when the activator knows that an emergency situation does not exist. "Avoidable alarm" does not include alarms activated by violent conditions of nature, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or any other similar cause beyond the control of the user of the alarm system. Activation of an alarm system under any circumstances where the activator reasonably believes that an emergency situation exists is not an avoidable alarm. Notwithstanding any language to the contrary, the defective installation of an alarm system, the failure to repair or cause to be repaired an alarm system or the use of defective equipment in connection with an alarm system shall not constitute an extraordinary circumstance beyond the reasonable control of the alarm user.
- EMERGENCY AGENCY
- Any Police Department, Fire Department or other law enforcement agency or ambulance company, private or public, or other agency summoned to respond to an emergency situation and any public safety answering point serving the Town of Fishkill.
- LOCAL ALARM SYSTEM
- A signaling system which, when activated, causes an audible signaling device to be activated outside the premises on which the system is installed.
- NOTICE ADDRESS
- The address which an alarm user designates on the application for a permit as the address to which notices are to be sent.
- Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, company or organization of any kind.
- PRIVATE ANSWERING POINT
- A business which offers the service of receiving emergency signals, monitoring said signals and relaying them to an emergency agency.
- PROPRIETARY SYSTEM
- An alarm, sounding and/or recording within the premises protected by the alarm, which is not intended to alert persons outside of the premises on which the alarm system is located of a possible hazard and not intended to alert an emergency agency, the control center being under the supervision of the proprietor of the protected premises. If a proprietary system includes a signal line connected directly or by means of an automatic device to an emergency agency or to a private answering point or to a local alarm system, it thereby becomes an alarm system as defined in this chapter.
All properties which shall own, use, lease, operate or maintain an alarm system within the Town of Fishkill shall obtain a fire prevention permit.
Application for permit. In order to obtain an alarm user permit, any person who operates an alarm system shall submit an application for such permit in the form designated by the Town, which application shall contain the following:
The name, home address and telephone number of the person applying for the permit.
The address of the premises upon which the alarm system is or will be located.
The type of alarm system for which the permit is sought.
The name of the alarm business or businesses, State License No. 1, selling, installing, monitoring, inspecting, responding to and/or maintaining the alarm system, if applicable.
Fees: Town fire permit fees as set by the Town Board.
Duration of permit. An alarm user permit shall expire when ownership changes.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Town of Fishkill Fire Inspector.
Any emergency agency, as herein defined, desiring the Town Fire Inspector to initiate enforcement of this chapter against an alarm user who has generated avoidable alarms shall comply with the following requirements:
The emergency agency shall give to the owner and send to the Fire Inspector of the Town of Fishkill an avoidable alarm incident report containing the information required within seven days of the alarm call (Form No. TAS-1).
Editor's Note: Said form is included as an attachment to this chapter.
Three or more occurrences within a six-month period constitutes a violation of this chapter, and the Fire Inspector will issue an appearance ticket. Fines for the fourth occurrence shall be $75; fifth, $100; sixth, $150; seventh and every future alarm, $200.
An alarm user receiving a notice of an avoidable alarm may challenge such classification by notifying the Fire Inspector, in writing, specifying in detail the reasons why the alleged avoidable alarm should not be so classified. The challenging notice must be received by the Fire Inspector within 20 days after notification to the alarm user. A hearing may be requested by the alarm user with the Local Board of Review. The failure to give timely notice shall be deemed a waiver of the right to challenge the classification.
Within a reasonable time, but not more than 45 days after receipt of a notice from an alarm user challenging the classification of an alarm as an avoidable alarm, the Local Board of Review shall hold a hearing, if so requested by the alarm user, and, in any event, make a final determination, which shall be reviewable only pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
The Town's Local Board of Review will hear all challenges.
Within 10 days after a final determination has been made by the Local Board of Review, a copy thereof shall be filed with the Town Clerk and a copy mailed or otherwise given to the alarm user.
Avoidable alarm incident report, Form No. TAS-1. Whenever an emergency agency files an avoidable alarm report, such report shall contain the following information:
The alarm user's name and address.
The date and location of the avoidable alarm.
The reasons why the alarm was determined to be an avoidable alarm.
Any other pertinent information.
Editor's Note: Said form is included as an attachment to this chapter.
Alarm systems which are interconnected or otherwise transmit signals directly to the County Fire Control Center shall be subject to the laws, rules, regulations and penalties adopted by the County of Dutchess relating to such systems.
All local alarm systems shall become deactivated and silenced automatically after a period of time not to exceed 15 minutes.
Police and/or fire officials may disable an audible alarm signal that has not been silenced prior to the expiration of the fifteen-minute period and shall not be liable for any damage that may result.
The provisions and requirements of this chapter shall apply to all persons who are alarm users on the effective date of this chapter and to all persons who subsequently become alarm users.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter.
This chapter shall be effective immediately upon adoption.