[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Canton 9-25-2002 by Ord. No. 217; amended in its entirety 12-14-2011. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the installation, maintenance and operation of alarm systems, devices and equipment in businesses and in certain residences pursuant to § 7-148 of the General Statutes.
As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Chief Administrative Officer or other person designated by the Chief Administrative Officer to administer this chapter.
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any part of an alarm system, including but not limited to pull station, horn, strobe light, heat detector, smoke detector and motion sensor.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any device or equipment in a place of business or residence which is capable of automatically calling and relaying recorded emergency messages to any state police or municipal police or fire/EMS department telephone number or which is capable of automatically calling and relaying recorded emergency messages or other forms of emergency signals to an intermediate third party which shall thereafter call and relay such emergency messages to a state police or municipal police or fire/EMS department telephone number. "Alarm system" does not include alarm devices in premises owned or occupied by the Town, alarm devices located in cars or boats, domestic violence alarms or alarms designated to elicit a medical response.
- ALARM USER
- The owner, occupant or person who has control of the premises in which an alarm system is located.
- A person in the business of installing or servicing alarm systems who is licensed by the State of Connecticut.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through mechanical or electrical failure, malfunction, improper installation, or the negligence of the alarm user or his/her employees or agents and signals activated to summon law enforcement personnel unless law enforcement response was cancelled by the alarm user or his or her agent before law enforcement personnel arrive at the alarm location. An alarm is false within the meaning of this chapter when, upon inspection by the Canton Police Department, evidence indicates that no unauthorized entry, robbery, or other such crime was committed or attempted in or on the premises which would have activated a properly functioning alarm system or, upon inspection by the Canton Fire Department or other Town official, there is no evidence of fire, smoke, gas or poisons which would have activated a properly functioning alarm system. Notwithstanding the foregoing, "false alarm" shall not include an alarm which can reasonably be determined to have been caused or activated by unusually violent conditions of nature, nor does it include other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm user.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system used to signal the presence of a fire, smoke, gas or a poisonous atmosphere emergency.
- FIRE ALARM USER
- The owner or occupant of the premises in which a fire alarm system is located.
- KEY VAULT
- An Administrator-approved lock box or other storage device that holds a key for providing emergency personnel with access to the premises being protected by a fire alarm system. A key vault shall be required for all commercial premises and multiunit residences. The key vault shall contain a key that provides access to all common areas, including but not limited to corridors, hallways, laundry rooms, furnace rooms, utility rooms, storage areas and recreation areas.
- MULTIUNIT RESIDENCE
- Any building or structure containing more than three living units, which living units are used primarily for residential purposes. The term "multiunit residence" shall exclude those buildings or structures where each living unit in the building or structure is separated from the adjoining living unit by vertical fire barriers.
- NEW ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system activated after the effective date of this chapter.
- An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any nature.
- VERTICAL FIRE BARRIERS
- Vertical fire barriers having a least a one-hour fire-resistance rating and meeting all of the other conditions described in the Connecticut State Building Code and the Connecticut Fire Safety Code.
An alarm user shall be responsible for the maintenance in good working order at all times of each alarm system and each alarm device on the premises owned or occupied by the alarm user in order to minimize false alarms.
If an alarm system or an alarm device transmits or signals more than two false alarms in a twelve-month period, the Administrator may require the alarm user to have the alarm system or alarm device, as applicable, inspected by a contractor at the alarm user's expense. Such inspection shall be undertaken within 30 days of receipt by the alarm user of a written notice from the Administrator requiring an inspection. Evidence that the inspection has taken place and that the alarm system or alarm device, as applicable, is in good working order shall be forwarded to the Administrator within 10 days of the inspection.
Unless required by law, no alarm system or alarm device which produces an exterior audible signal shall be installed unless the operation of the exterior audible signal is automatically restricted to a maximum of 15 minutes. An alarm system or alarm device which produces an exterior audible signal which fails to deactivate the exterior audible signal within 15 minutes shall be in violation of this chapter.
Registration of an alarm system. Each alarm system must be registered with the Administrator. Registration shall be effected by filing a completed alarm system registration on a form provided by the Administrator. The registration form shall require information concerning the owner and occupant of the premises at which the alarm system is located, the alarm monitoring company, if any, to which the alarm system is connected, and such other information as the Administrator may require. The registration information shall be updated every year and after a change as described in Subsection D.
Registration of a new fire alarm system. Each new fire alarm system must be registered with the Administrator before it is made operational. Prior to registration, an approved key vault must be purchased by the fire alarm user and installed by the fire alarm user in a location approved by the Administrator. Registration shall be effected by filing a completed alarm system registration on a form provided by the Administrator. The registration form shall require information concerning the owner and occupant of the premises at which the new fire alarm system is located, the alarm monitoring company, if any, to which the new fire alarm system is connected and such other information as the Administrator may require.
Registration fees. An alarm user shall pay a fee of $25 to the Town to register a new alarm system.
False alarm charges. When, after the first two false alarms within a twelve-month period, the Administrator determines that fire, police or other municipal personnel have responded to a false alarm caused by a alarm system or alarm device, the Administrator may request an inspection of the alarm system and/or alarm device in accordance with § 175-4 and/or impose the fine on the alarm user according to § 175-8A(2).
The Board of Selectmen may promulgate, adopt or amend such other rules or regulations with respect to the implementation of this chapter as it deems appropriate.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the following penalties and fines:
Minimum fine for an offense or violation of any provision of this chapter: $50 per violation.
Pursuant to this section, an appeal process is provided elsewhere in these ordinances.
If cancellation of alarm occurs prior to law enforcement arriving at the scene, this is not a false alarm and no fee will be assessed.
Multiple activations within a twenty-four-hour period may be considered as one false alarm for the purpose of charged fees.
The Administrator may seek enforcement of the provisions of this chapter by a civil action brought by the Town, and in such event the violator shall pay the Town's cost of any legal action, including reasonable attorney fees. In any such action, the Administrator may seek any of the following remedies: temporary and/or permanent injunction and removal of the violation.
Any and all remedies which the Town has in enforcing this chapter, at law or in equity, shall be cumulative, and two or more or all of such remedies may be exercised at the same time.
The Administrator, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, may waive any of the charges imposed by this section. The Administrator must state the reason for such waiver in writing to the Board of Selectmen.
This chapter has been specifically designated for enforcement by citations issued by designated municipal officers or employees, and the citation hearing procedure established by Chapter 15, Citations, of this Code shall be followed.
If any section, clause, provision or portion of this chapter, or any regulation established pursuant to the terms of this chapter, shall be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect or impair any other section, clause, provision or portion of this chapter or of any regulation established pursuant to the terms of this chapter.