Town of Ashland, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Ashland 10-19-2005, Art. 8.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This article also repealed former Ch. 77, Alarm Systems, which consisted of the following: Art. I, Fire Alarms, adopted May 1993 STM, as amended; Art. II, Burglar Alarms, adopted May 1993 STM; and Art. III, Violations and Penalties, adopted 10-18-2000 ATM, Art. 20.
AUTHORITY HAVING JURISDICTION (AHJ) — The Fire Chief and/or his designee
CENTRAL STATION OPERATING COMPANY
A company equipped to receive a fire alarm signal from each of its customers and which then transmits to the Ashland Fire Department (AFD) the location of any such alarm the central station operating company receives.
CENTRAL STATION
A device capable of sending a signal by way of phone or radio to the Central Station operating Company
COMMERCIAL BUILDING
Any building other than a low-rise residential as defined in 780 CMR
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
Any heat-activated, smoke-activated, flame-energy-activated or other such automatic device capable of transmitting a fire alarm signal.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM MALFUNCTION
The transmittal of a fire alarm to a central station operating company which alarm is caused by improper installation of a fire alarm system, a mechanically defective fire alarm system, lack of maintenance or some other reason that causes a fire alarm to sound even though there is not an actual fire or situation that reasonably could evolve into a fire.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM OWNER
An individual or entity who owns the title to, and/or has on his business premises or Commercial Building, or uses a fire alarm system equipped to send a fire alarm signal to a central station operating company or directly to the AFD by way of a wire master box or radio transmitted master box.
FIRE CHIEF
The Chief of the Ashland Fire Department
LOW RISE RESIDENTAL OR RESIDENTAL BUILDING
Residential occupancy buildings (R-2, R-3, R-4 or R-5 as defined in 780 CMR) three stories or less in height
MASTER BOX OWNER
An individual or entity who has on his business premises, or who uses, a fire alarm system equipped to send a fire alarm signal directly to the AFD (radio or hard wire) by way of a master box.
As of July 1, 2006 all Master Boxes shall be removed from the Town of Ashland and shall be replaced with Central Station.
As of July 1, 2006 and there after all commercial buildings in the Town of Ashland shall have a fire alarm system approved by the Ashland Fire Department and shall be connected by way of central station.
As of July 1, 2006 all commercial buildings in The Town of Ashland that have a Fire Alarm Systems shall comply with 527 CMR 1.06-2 and 24.08. That Fire Alarm System owner's shows proof of data that their Fire Alarm System has been tested annually to 100% in accordance with 527 CMR 24.00 M.G.L 148 and NFPA-72.
As of July 1, 2006 any person or company hired to install, work on, make repairs to or test a Fire Alarm System, Sprinkler system and/or Central station system on a commercial buildings shall first secure an approval permit by Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) in accordance with M.G.L 148, M.G.L 268 s32, 527 CMR 1.00, 24.00 and NFPA-72.
Failure to test Fire Alarm, Sprinkler and/or Fire protection systems on commercial buildings annually or in accordance with NFPA standards shall result in a fine of $50.00 per day after the annual expiration date.
As of July 1, 2006 for all commercial buildings, as condition of occupancy, resale of, in the Town of Ashland; a Fire Alarm System shall be installed with Central Station connection and annual testing as stated in ss 77-4 and 77-5
Central Station Company shall be certified and listed with Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.) and/or with Factory Mutual (FM). All equipment and operations of said central station company shall be in accordance with NFPA-72, 527 CMR 24.00, and M.G.L 148 and at the discretion of the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).
Before any central station operating company is connected to a commercial building located in the Town of Ashland the Ashland Fire Department shall be furnished with the following information.
1. 
The name, address, telephone numbers of the central station company.
2. 
The name, address, telephone numbers of a Fire Alarm Company providing 24hr emergency service and able to respond within two (2) hours to repair or service said equipment and/or central station equipment.
3. 
A signed maintenance contract with proof of a 100% Fire Alarm System test in accordance with 527 CMR 24.00 and NFPA-72
All Fire Alarm system owners of commercial buildings shall be responsible for updating the information herein required to be provided to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). If a fire alarm owner fails to comply with this section, the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) shall assess a fine of fifty dollars ($50.).
If there is a fire alarm system malfunction, as defined herein, the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may assess a fine against the fire alarm system owner commercial or residential for each malfunction per calendar year according to the following schedule:
First and second malfunction: no charge. Upon receiving of the second false alarm by the Fire Department, the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) shall inform the owner of the building, in writing and by certified mail, of the Department's policy with regard to charging for false alarms.
Third and each successive malfunction: three hundred dollars ($300).
Any false fire alarm which is the result of the failure of the property owner, occupant or his agents to notify the Ashland Fire Department of repair, maintenance or testing of the internal fire alarm system within the protected premises shall cause a penalty to be assessed in accordance with this section.
For the purpose of this regulation, a "false fire alarm" shall be defined as follows:
1.
The operation of a faulty smoke- or heat-detection device.
2.
A faulty control panel or associated equipment
3.
A water pressure surge in automatic sprinkler equipment
4.
Accidental operation of an automatic sprinkler system
5.
An action of an employee of the owner or occupant of the protected premises or a contractor employed by the owner or the occupant causing accidental activation of the internal fire alarm system.
Property owners shall be billed once a month for the previous month's malfunction activity. All fines assessed shall be paid to The Town of Ashland Fire Department.
If the bill is not paid within thirty (30) days, a second notice will be sent. If the bill is not paid after another period of thirty (30) days, a final notice will be sent informing the owner and/or occupant that a order of notice shall be delivered to cease and desist all operations.
Any fire alarm system owner who is aggrieved by an action taken by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) under this Article may, within ten (10) days of such action, file an appeal, in writing, with the Town Manager of the Town of Ashland (the "Manager"). After notice, the Manager, or his/her designee, shall hold a hearing and shall issue a decision in which he affirms, annuls or modifies the action taken by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), giving reasons therefore.
The Manager shall send the decision to the owner by first class mail within ten (10) days after the hearing. The decision of the Manager, or his/her designee, shall be the final administrative decision. The owner shall have thirty (30) days from the date of the written decision to seek judicial review in the Middlesex County Superior Court
The Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to implement this Article. The Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is authorized to pursue such legal action as may be necessary to enforce this Article.
All fines and permit fees assessed herein shall be payable to The Town of Ashland Fire Department.
The provisions of this Article shall be deemed to be severable, and if any of these provisions shall be held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the decision of such court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions.
No fire alarm system shall be equipped with tape dialer or similar automatic telephone device which will transmit an alarm message to any telephone line of the Ashland Fire Department. If, at the passage of this Article, a fire alarm system is equipped with such a tape dialer or similar automatic telephone device, the fire alarm system owner shall have sixty (60) days from the passage of this Article to disconnect such tape dialer or similar automatic telephone device. If a fire alarm system owner fails to comply with this section, the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may assess a fine of fifty dollars ($50.).
[Added 5-2-2007 ATM, Art. 20]
If a burglar alarm in any commercial, industrial or residential structure is falsely activated more than three (3) times in a calendar year, the owner, lessee or individual in charge of that structure shall be liable for a fine of $50.00 for the fourth false alarm, and $100.00 for the fifth and subsequent false alarms.
Failure to pay the fee within 30 days will result in court action for violation of a town bylaw until the fee is paid.
[Added 5-2-2007 ATM, Art. 20]
All alarm systems that emit an audible signal on the exterior of a building shall be equipped with a device for limiting the length of the audible signal to 15 minutes. Any user of an alarm system that either does not have such a device or has a malfunction that allows the audible signal to continue for more than 15 minutes shall, after the police department has recorded three separate violations, be assessed for the fourth and subsequent violations a fee of $50. Failure to pay such fee within 30 days will result in court action for violation of a Town bylaw until the fee is paid.
[Added 5-2-2007 ATM, Art. 20]
All federal, state and municipal buildings and property shall be exempt from the provisions of this bylaw.