[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Weston 11-7-1984, effective 1-1-1985 (Ch. 7.8, Art. II, of the 1981 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Emergency services in the Town have been heavily burdened with calls emanating from automatic alarm systems which are caused by mechanical malfunctions or other such false alarms.
Prolonged sound from audible alarm systems has disturbed residents and has resulted in expenditures of Town moneys at great effort and risk in repeated attempts to silence such alarms.
It is, nevertheless, desirable to encourage residents to procure and properly use security devices and alarm systems.
The general welfare and safety of the residents of the Town will be best served and protected by the establishment of an ordinance requiring the registration of all systems and establishing a mechanism to reduce the number of false alarms and promote the responsible use of alarm devices in Weston.
For the purposes of this chapter, certain words and terms shall be defined as follows:
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any device which, when activated, transmits a signal to the Town's communications center; which transmits a signal to a person, firm or corporation which in turn relays such signal to an emergency number; or which produces an external audible signal as an alert that an emergency exists.
- CENTRAL STATION
- An office to which remote alarm devices transmit signals where operators monitor those signals and relay information to the appropriate emergency service.
- EMERGENCY NUMBER
- Any telephone number designated by the Administrator as a number through which an emergency may be reported.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any activation of an alarm device to which an emergency service of the Town responds which is not the result of an actual emergency.
- FISCAL YEAR
- The Town's fiscal year, July 1 through June 30.
This chapter, including all registration requirements, shall be administered by the First Selectman or his or her designee, who shall be known as the "Administrator."
There shall exist an Appeals Board consisting of the Board of Selectmen or its designees. The Board shall have the powers and duties granted to it by this chapter.
Each user of an existing alarm device shall register his/her alarm device with the Administrator within 60 days of the effective date of this chapter. Any alarm system installed after the effective date of this chapter shall be registered with the Administrator within 30 days. Such registration shall set forth, but not be limited to, the name, address and telephone number of both the installer of the system and the user on whose premises the system is installed, as well as a description of the system. Such registration shall also set forth the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of key holders who may gain entry to the premises having the alarm device.
Each central station shall register within 30 days with the Administrator, and any central station created after the effective date of this chapter shall register with the Administrator prior to the transmission of any signals to an emergency service.
Any alarm device which automatically connects a telephone line to an emergency service shall transmit messages only to such numbers as may be designated for receipt of such messages by the Administrator.
Automatic dialing devices coming directly into the communications center will be prohibited in any new systems. Existing dialers connected to the communications center must not send more than two signals and must have no more than a one-minute interval between signals. Existing dialers connected to the communications center must be disconnected within two years or when ownership of the premises changes hands, whichever occurs first.
Except as otherwise provided by law, no alarm device which produces an exterior audible sound shall be installed unless its operation is automatically deactivated after no more than 10 minutes.
Within 60 days of enactment of this chapter, preexisting alarms which produce an exterior audible sound shall be retrofitted so that they are automatically deactivated after no more than 10 minutes.
All new systems shall have their own auxiliary power source which shall be maintained in working order.
When the Administrator determines that a false alarm has occurred, the Administrator shall impose a charge on the user of the responsible alarm device according to the following schedule:
Failure to pay any such charges within 30 days of the imposition thereof shall constitute a violation of this chapter. Each month thereafter that the charge remains unpaid shall constitute a separate violation.
Whenever a charge for a false alarm is imposed against a user, said user may, within 30 days of the imposition of the charge, appeal by filing a written notice of appeal with the Administrator. The Administrator or the Appeals Board shall set a time and place for hearing the appeal no later than 20 days from receipt by the Administrator of the appeal. The Appeals Board shall render a written decision within five days of the conclusion of the hearing. The filing of an appeal shall stay the collection of any of the charges imposed on the user until such time as a decision is rendered. Failure of an Appeals Board to act within the time limitations imposed in this section shall result in the revocation of the charges from which the appeal was taken.
Except as expressly provided herein, the Town, its departments, officers, agents and employees shall be under no obligation whatsoever concerning the adequacy, operation or maintenance of any alarm system or of the alarm monitoring facilities. No liability whatsoever is assumed for the failure of such alarm systems or monitoring facilities or for failure to respond to alarms or for any other act or omission in connection with such alarm systems. Each alarm user shall be deemed to hold and save harmless the Town, its departments, officers, agents and employees from liability in connection with the user's alarm device.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $90 for each such violation. Each month that a violation remains uncorrected shall constitute a separate violation.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to alarm devices on premises owned and occupied by the Town or one of its departments or agencies, including the Board of Education, the State of Connecticut or the United States of America nor to alarm devices installed in a motor vehicle, trailer or boat.