Township of Warminster, PA
Bucks County
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[Ord. 672, 2/14/2008, § 1]
This Part 2 shall be known and cited as an "Ordinance Regulating Fire Alarms."
[Ord. 672, 2/14/2008, § 1]
As used in this Part 2, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM BUSINESS
Any business operated by a person, partnership, corporation, or other business entity for profit which engages in the activity of altering, installing, leasing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, selling, servicing, or monitoring of fire alarm systems or which causes these activities to take place.
AUDIBLE NOTIFICATION DEVICE
Any device, bell, horn, or siren which is attached to the exterior or interior of a building that emits a warning signal audible inside and/or outside of a building, designed to attract attention when activated and results in the Fire Department response.
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE (APDS)
Electronically operated instruments, composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware, which may automatically transmit a prerecorded voice or other alarm signal over regular telephone lines by direct or indirect connection to the Bucks County Communication Center or other emergency center upon receipt of a stimulus from sensory apparatus that has automatically detected a fire and activate audible and/or visual notification devices within the building. "Indirect connection" shall include answering services and all other persons monitoring and relaying the information to the Bucks County Communication Center or other emergency center.
FALSE ALARM
Any signal activated by an automatic or manual protection device which is not the result of a fire or similar event which may result in a fire.
FAULTY ALARM
Any signal activated by an automatic or manual protection device which is not the result of a fire or similar emergency and is the result of a malfunction, failure, alteration, repair, vandalism, testing, or demonstration of the fire alarm system.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Shall be either the Warminster Fire Department or Hartsville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1.
FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE
The dispatching of a Fire Department by the Bucks County Communication Center to provide emergency service within Warminster Township.
FIRE MARSHAL
Shall be the Fire Marshal of the Warminster Township Fire Marshal's Office or other Deputy of the Warminster Township Fire Marshal's Office authorized by the Fire Marshal.
MANUAL PROTECTION DEVICE (MPDS)
Electronically operated instruments, composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware, that require manual activation by occupants, which automatically transmits a prerecorded voice or other alarm signal over regular telephone lines by direct or indirect connection to the Bucks County Communication Center or other emergency center upon receipt of a stimulus from sensory apparatus that has been manually activated to alert the detection a of fire or other similar emergency and activate audible and/or visual notification devices within the building. "Indirect connection" shall include answering services and all other persons monitoring and relaying the information to the Bucks County Communication Center or other emergency center.
USER
Any resident, person, corporation, institution, or company which has installed an audible or other alarm system designed to alert the Fire Department and require their response.
VISUAL NOTIFICATION DEVICE
Any device, strobe light, or flashing light, which is attached to the exterior or interior of a building, that emits a warning signal visible either inside and/or outside of a building designed to attract attention when activated and results in the Fire Department response.
[Ord. 672, 2/14/2008, § 1]
1. 
Any individual who intends to install, alter, or modify any alarm device shall not do so without first obtaining a permit and final approval from the Township Department of Licenses and Inspections and/or the Fire Marshal's office as required by Pennsylvania Act 45 of 1999, the Uniform Construction Code, and all applicable standards contained within.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. §§ 7210.101 through 7210.1103.
2. 
The Fire Marshal shall enforce the provisions of this Part 2.
3. 
The Fire Marshal's office shall notify, in writing, the subscriber or user upon receipt of each false or faulty alarm within the calendar year. Said notice shall be sent via United States first-class mail. Notice of fees due shall be sent for each violation beyond two permitted.
4. 
Fees shall be assessed to the user for all activations following the two permitted activations as shown in the Township Fee Schedule. The fees shall be subject to change from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
5. 
The user shall have 30 days to pay the fee charged from the date of the notice.
6. 
Failure of the user to respond to the notice sent or refusal to pay the fee required shall constitute a violation of this Part 2, subject to penalties provided in § 5-208.
7. 
If, due to weather conditions or electrical failure, three or more false alarms from unrelated locations are received within 30 minutes of each other, the fee or penalty shall not be assessed, and the alarm shall not be counted for enforcement purposes.
8. 
It shall be unlawful to intentionally activate any alarm to summon the Fire Department, except for the reporting of the specific occurrence intended by the alarm.
[Ord. 672, 2/14/2008, § 1]
1. 
The sensory mechanism used in connection with any alarm system must be adjusted to suppress false indications so that the device will not be activated by impulses due to the fleeting pressure changes in water pipes, flashes of light, the rattling or vibration of doors and windows, the vibrations to the premises caused by passing vehicles, or any other force not related to genuine alarms. All such devices must be maintained by the user in good repair to insure maximum reliability of operation as regulated by applicable standards.
2. 
The alarm system shall be designed so as to distinguish between:
A. 
Hold-up.
B. 
Burglary.
C. 
Fire.
D. 
Medical alert.
E. 
Panic or ambush.
3. 
Automatic dialers, where a recorded voice message is received, shall transmit a message approved by the Fire Marshal. Said equipment shall not make more than two telephone calls to the Bucks County Communications Center. The message shall be no longer than 15 seconds in duration and shall not be repeated more than twice.
4. 
The equipment shall not be keyed to the primary telephone lines of the Fire Department or the 911 system but shall only be keyed to designated phone numbers.
[Ord. 672, 2/14/2008, § 1]
1. 
All persons operating an alarm business within Warminster Township shall obtain a permit from the Fire Marshal and shall pay a fee, to be established from time to time by resolution by the Board of Supervisors.
2. 
It shall be unlawful for any person operating an alarm business to represent to any customer, user, or subscriber that the Fire Marshal, Warminster Fire Department or the Hartsville Volunteer Fire Department endorses, recommends, or otherwise approves of his/her service or equipment. It shall be unlawful to represent that the Fire Department or Fire Marshal furnished the name, address or any other information to said alarm business or agent thereof.
3. 
It shall be unlawful to conduct a test or demonstration of any equipment installed or being installed without the permission of the Fire Marshal, unless required by the Warminster Township Fire Code. No such permission is required unless the alarm or signal may cause the response of fire.
[Ord. 672, 2/14/2008, § 1]
This Part 2 shall not apply to detached single-family or detached duplex residential dwelling units.
[Ord. 672, 2/14/2008, § 1]
This Part 2, nor any agreement resulting therefrom, shall not constitute acceptance by Warminster Township for any liability to maintain any equipment or to answer any alarm or any other occurrence in connection therewith.
[Ord. 672, 2/14/2008, § 1]
Any person, firm, or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part 2, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part 2 continues or each section of this Part 2 which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Part 3, Responsible Building Contractors, which previously followed this section, was relocated to Ch. 4, Buildings, Part 1, at the request of the Township. Original Part 4, Property Maintenance and Housing Standards, and original Part 5, Fire Prevention and Life Safety Standards, have been redesignated as Parts 3 and 4, respectively.