[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Bedford 3-22-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to encourage alarm users and alarm businesses to assume increased responsibility for maintaining the mechanical reliability and the proper use of alarm systems, to prevent unnecessary police and fire emergency response to false alarms and thereby to protect the emergency response capability of the Town from misuse.
This chapter governs burglary, robbery, fire and medical alarm systems, requires permits, establishes fees, provides for discontinuation of police and fire response to alarms and provides for punishment of violations.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- The business by any individual partnership, corporation, or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any alarm system or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any assembly of equipment, mechanical or electrical, arranged to signal the occurrence of an illegal entry, fire, medical emergency or other activity requiring urgent attention and to which police, fire, or medical personnel are expected to respond.
- ALARM USERS
- The person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind which owns, controls or occupies any building, structure or facility wherein an alarm system is maintained.
- AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
- A device, which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and transmit by code signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency response. Such a device is an alarm system.
- BEDFORD EMERGENCY DISPATCH
- The Town facility used to receive emergency and general information from the public to be dispatched to the respective Police and Fire Departments.
- BURGLARY ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system signaling an entry or attempted entry into the area protected by the system.
- CENTRAL ALARM COMPANY
- An alarm business that interconnects an alarm system to its own trunk lines and then calls the Bedford Emergency Dispatch using a human being instead of an automatic dialing device.
- FALSE ALARMS
- An alarm signal, eliciting a response by police, fire or medical personnel when a situation requiring a response does not in fact exist, but does not include an alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm business operator or alarm user.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system signaling a fire in an area protected by the system.
- FIRE CHIEF
- The head of the Bedford Fire Department or his/her designee.
- To connect an alarm system including an automatic dialing device to a telephone line, either directly or through a mechanical device that utilizes a telephone, for the purpose of using the telephone line to transmit a message upon the activation of the alarm system.
- MEDICAL ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system signaling a medical condition needing immediate emergency response for an occupant of the area protected by the system.
- POLICE CHIEF
- The head of the Bedford Police Department or his/her designee.
- PRIMARY TRUNK LINE
- A telephone line serving the Bedford Emergency Dispatch that is designated to receive emergency calls.
- ROBBERY ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system signaling a robbery or attempted robbery.
- SOUND EMISSION CUTOFF FEATURE
- A feature of an alarm system which will cause an audible alarm to stop emitting sound.
- SYSTEM RECOVER OPERATIVE
- When the alarm system is capable to eliciting a response by police, fire, or medical personnel.
The alarm owner or occupant of a building serviced by an alarm will be notified of a false alarm either in person by responding police or fire personnel, written notice, or regular mail. If the fine has not been received within 30 days of notice and there is no appeal pending on the validity of the alarm, the Police or Fire Chief may initiate the no-response or disconnect process and may also initiate the enforcement of penalties.
The Police or Fire Chief has the right to waive any or all false alarm assessments if he or she determines it to be in the best interest of the Town of Bedford.
The Police or Fire Chief may order no-response and/or disconnect after six false alarms in a calendar year or failure to pay a fine within 30 days. The Police or Fire Chief will advise the alarm user that there may be no emergency response, if serviced by a central alarm company or the Town of Bedford may disconnect the alarm system if interconnected to the Bedford Emergency Dispatch. If a disconnect or no-response is initiated, reinstatement can be made by the Fire or Police Chief upon payment of fines or penalties and/or a finding that a reasonable effort has been made to correct the false alarms.
The Police or Fire Chief may also order an alarm disconnect or no emergency response for any other reason deemed in the best interest of the Town and public safety.
The alarm user has the right to a hearing before any disconnect or no-response order goes into effect. A hearing must be requested within 10 days of a notice to disconnect, notice of no response, or notice of a false alarm. Failure to contest the determination in the required time period results in a conclusive presumption that the alarm was false and/or the notice to disconnect or no-response is valid.
The hearing shall be before the respective Police or Fire Chief. The alarm user shall have the right to present written and oral evidence subject to the right of cross-examination. The Chief will arbitrate whether or not the alarms are false and take appropriate action.
All revenues generated from this chapter will go to the general fund of the Town of Bedford.
Violation of this chapter shall be punishable upon conviction by a fine of not more than $500, plus any fines due to the Town.