[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Washington 4-16-1984 by Ord. No. 5-84 (Sec. 6-14 of the Revised General Ordinances); amended in its entirety 7-20-2009 by Ord. No. 16-09. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations concerning the operation and maintenance of certain alarm systems within the Township of Washington and to provide penalties for violations of any of the provisions set forth herein.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any type of alarm-actuating equipment which provides warning of intrusion, fire, smoke, burglary, medical emergency, flood or like perils, including dial alarms (devices using normal telephone lines transmitting notification by telephone directly to a third-party service provider.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- The installation in one or more buildings of one or more alarm devices for the express purpose of giving visual or audible warning, or both, of an emergency, such as a burglary, intrusion, fire, smoke, medical emergency, flood or like perils, and to which the Washington Township Police Department, the First-Aid Squad or the Fire Department may be expected to respond.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- A device that emits an audible signal from the premises that it is designed to protect.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm signal resulting in a response by the Washington Township Police, First-Aid Squad or Fire Department, where an emergency situation does not exist.
- LOCAL ALARM
- An audible alarm or one that emits a flashing light or other warning not transmitted beyond the immediate area.
- Any natural person, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity.
On or after the effective date of this chapter, no owner, tenant, person or occupant (herein collectively referred to as "person") shall install or cause to be installed in any premises within the Township of Washington any alarm system, device or apparatus that communicates a condition that may be expected to result in a response by the Washington Township Police, First-Aid Squad or Fire Department without first receiving a permit for the installation.
Applications for permits shall be on a form prescribed by the Chief of Police of the Township.
Permits shall be issued by the Chief of Police or such other person authorized as his designee.
No permit shall be issued unless the applicant demonstrates that the alarm system to be installed meets the standards set forth in this chapter.
An application for a permit shall constitute an authorization that the Township may, on reasonable notice to the person, inspect the alarm system for the purpose of determining whether the system continues to comply with the standards set forth in this chapter.
An initial registration fee of $50 shall be payable to the Township upon issuance of a two-year permit.
[Amended 4-16-2012 by Ord. No. 06-12; 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 06-14]
Permits shall be issued annually and shall expire on December 31 of the year issued. Renewals must be submitted on or before December 31 accompanied by a check in the amount of $25 made payable to the Township of Washington. All permits expiring during calendar year 2014 are extended to December 31, 2014, and must be renewed prior to December 31, 2014. All permits expiring during calendar year 2015 are extended to December 31, 2015, and must be renewed prior to December 31, 2015. After December 31, the application will be treated as a new application. All renewals shall be for a one-year period.
[Amended 4-16-2012 by Ord. No. 06-12; 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 06-14]
A service fee of $100 shall be payable for each alarm activation by a nonpermitted system that results in a response by the Washington Township Police, First-Aid Squad or Fire Department. Failure to pay the service fee within 30 days shall result in the issuance of a summons for failure to obtain a permit as required by § 39-3.
[Amended 9-21-2009 by Ord. No. 24-09]
All alarm systems referred to in this chapter shall, at the time of their installation and at all times thereafter, meet the following standards:
All alarm systems must meet reasonable safety standards, such as those acceptable to Underwriters Laboratories or equivalent.
Every alarm system capable of signaling multiple types of warnings shall be equipped with separate distinguishing signals, as reasonably required by the Chief of Police, to the end that the appropriate authorities, upon receipt of a signal, may immediately ascertain the nature and cause of the signal.
All alarm systems capable of emitting audible signals shall be equipped with an operating device which will automatically, by mechanical, electrical or other means, shut off such audible signal after 15 minutes of continuous sound audible beyond the boundaries of the premises in which the alarm system is located.
In any case where the alarm system emits sound in violation of the foregoing subsection, the operation or maintenance of the alarm system shall be deemed to constitute the grant of permission by the owners and occupants of the premises for law enforcement, first aid or fire officials to enter the said premises and investigate and to reset the alarm system.
Alarm systems installed or in use at the effective date of this chapter shall conform to the requirements of this chapter within 180 days after the effective date hereof. All persons shall apply for permits for such systems within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter. In the event of a failure of any system to comply with the provisions of this subsection or of § 39-5 of this chapter, the Township may prosecute under § 39-9.
It shall be the responsibility of all persons maintaining an alarm system within the Township to leave with the Police Department the name of a person or persons who can be reached in case of an emergency or malfunction of the alarm device in order that the device can be temporarily disconnected. Additionally, owners may leave a tagged key to the premises with the Chief of Police of the Township, provided that, in so doing, the owner thereby releases the Township of Washington and the Police Department from any claims of damage or loss in connection with said action.
Persons having an alarm device which is being tested or repaired shall notify the Police Department before tests or repairs commence and after completion of same so as to avoid the possibility of activating a false alarm.
The permittee is responsible for whatever charges are required by any alarm company making such installations.
It shall be the responsibility of all persons maintaining an alarm system within the Township to prevent the transmission of false alarms through a program of training and periodic inspection and maintenance of the system.
Notification and investigations. In the case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Police Department. In the case of false alarms, the Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made and shall keep a record of the alarms on file.
Service fees for false alarms. In any twelve-month period from July 1 through June 30, the following service fees shall apply in order to help offset the cost of responding to a false alarm:
Upon the occurrence of the first and second false alarms, a written warning shall be issued to the owner or proprietor by the Chief of Police or his designee.
Upon the occurrence of all subsequent false alarms, a service fee shall be payable by the owner or proprietor in accordance with the following schedule:
In the event of a 10th or subsequent false alarm, in addition to the service fee established herein, the occurrence of a 10th false alarm in any twelve-month period between July 1 and June 30 shall be deemed a violation of this section, and the Police Chief, or his designee, or the Fire Chief, as appropriate, shall cause a summons to issue in Municipal Court, for prosecution under § 39-9 of this chapter.
Service fees shall be payable to the Township of Washington within 30 days of service of written notice of the third or subsequent false alarms. The calculation of the number of false alarms shall be without regard to whether the false alarms involved intrusion alarms or fire alarms. Failure to pay such service fee within 30 days shall be deemed a violation of this section, and the Police Chief, or his designee, or the Fire Chief, as appropriate, shall cause a summons to issue in Municipal Court for prosecution under § 39-9 of this chapter.
[Amended 4-21-2014 by Ord. No. 06-14]
Any person or persons, firms, corporations or other organizations found to be in violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties provided in § 1-3 of this Code. Each violation of the requirements of this chapter and each and every day the same is violated shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.