[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Hellertown 2-4-2002 by Ord. No. 638. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings given to them in this section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Words used in the present tense include the future, the singular includes the plural, the masculine shall include the feminine gender. Use of the term "shall" indicates a mandate and is not directory, "may" implies permissiveness.
- An audible signal emitted by a warning device indicating that a crime, fire or other emergency situation, warranting immediate response action by the police, the Fire Department and/or other emergency service provider agencies, is occurring or has occurred. This definition includes, but shall not be limited to, those alarm devices which provide for the transmission of a telephonic message to a monitoring service agency or to the Northampton County E-911 Center, and which, in turn, results in the notification of Hellertown Borough emergency service provider agencies for response action.
- ALARM DEVICE
- An electrical, electronic, mechanical and/or combination electro-mechanical appliance which transmits a notification by wire, telephone, radio or other means to a person or service who, in turn, notifies the Northampton County E-911 Center and/or one or more of the Hellertown Borough emergency service providers of the occurrence of an alarm activation or activates a bell, gong, klaxon, siren, horn or other sounding device to be heard outside of a premises, and which is intended to alert the police, Fire Department and/or other emergency service providers to the existence or the possible existence of a crime, fire or other emergency situation, and which warrants, or may warrant the response of said providers.
- AMBULANCE SERVICE
- The Dewey Ambulance Service, Hellertown, Pennsylvania, its officers, agents, employees and servants.
- The Borough of Hellertown, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, its officers, agents, employees and servants.
- EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDER AGENCY
- Any one of those several agencies which exist in the Borough of Hellertown to provide aid and assistance to the public during times of distress and urgencies, and which shall include, but shall not be limited to, the Borough of Hellertown, Dewey Ambulance Service, Dewey Fire Company No. 1 and the Hellertown Police Department, together with the officers, agents, employees and servants of said agencies, as well as those other area agencies pursuant to a mutual cooperation agreement.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm to which the police, Fire Department or other emergency service provider agency responds, and which has resulted from the activation of an alarm device when a crime, fire or other emergency warranting the response action of the provider(s) has not, in fact, occurred. The term "false alarm" shall not include those occurrences which can be shown to constitute "intentional false alarms," as that term is defined elsewhere in this chapter.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The Dewey Fire Company No. 1, Hellertown, Pennsylvania, it officers, agents, employees and servants.
- INTENTIONAL FALSE ALARM
- A false alarm resulting from the purposeful and willful activation of an alarm device by a person, under circumstances where that person has no reasonable basis to believe that a crime, fire or other emergency, warranting immediate action by emergency service provider agencies, is occurring or has occurred.
- NORTHAMPTON COUNTY E-911 CENTER
- The central emergency services communications and dispatch agency which serves the emergency services provider agencies of the Borough of Hellertown, which term shall include the officers, agents, employees and servants of said Center.
- Any individual, partnership, corporation, firm, association, institution, agency or any other legal entity whatsoever which is recognized by law as being subject to the rights and duties of an individual.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Hellertown Police Department, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, its officers, agents, employees and servants.
- TELEPHONE DIALER ALARM DEVICE
- An alarm appliance designed to transmit a notice over telephone lines to a service which, in turn, notifies the Northampton County E-911 Center or directly to said E-911 Center.
All existing alarm devices, as the same are identified in § 100-1 above, shall be registered with the Borough on a form prescribed and provided by the Borough within 30 days of the date upon which this chapter is adopted.
All newly installed alarm devices, as the same are identified in § 100-1 above, shall be registered with the Borough on a form as prescribed and provided by the Borough within 30 days of their installation.
The registration of alarm devices with the Borough in no way shall expand or extend the liability of the Borough, its emergency service provider agencies or that of the Northampton County E-911 Center in the areas of response and/or lack of response to the premises served by the alarm devices, beyond those liabilities normally associated with situations of a similar nature on premises without alarm devices.
The failure of a person to register an alarm device, as set forth above, shall constitute a violation of this chapter and may subject the owner of any such unregistered alarm device to fines and penalties as are provided elsewhere in this chapter.
In those circumstances when it is necessary to test an alarm device, it shall be the responsibility of the owner of such device, or his designated agent, to first notify the Northampton County E-911 Center of the need to test the device, and receive the Center's authorization to proceed with the proposed test. No alarm device shall be so tested without first making the required contact with the Center; otherwise, such activation shall be considered to have constituted a false alarm, as defined elsewhere in this chapter.
All alarm device testing shall occur Monday through Friday only, excluding holidays, and only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (0900 to 1700 hours), inclusive.
The owner of each and every alarm device from which there occurs a false alarm, as that term is defined at § 100-1 above, shall pay to the Borough a false alarm fee for each and every such false alarm to which one or more of the Borough's emergency service provider agencies respond in any given calendar year (January 1 through December 31), as follows:
[Amended 9-17-2012 by Ord. No. 775]
Upon the occurrence of a false alarm, the primary responding emergency service provider agency shall notify the administrative offices of the Borough, in writing, within 10 days of said occurrence by the filing of a false alarm report with those Borough offices.
Within 10 days of receipt of a false alarm report, the Borough shall provide a copy of said report to the registered owner of the alarm device from which the false alarm emanated, by way of United States mail, to said owner's address as the same is reflected in the alarm registration form on file with the Borough. Accompanying such report copy shall be a bill for the false alarm fee in an amount as set forth in Subsection A above, if such fee shall be due and payable.
Any and all fees imposed hereunder shall be due within 30 days of the date reflected on said bill and payable to the Borough of Hellertown.
The failure to tender the proper false alarm fee within the said 30 days shall subject the owner to further action pursuant to the other provisions of this chapter.
No person shall activate any alarm device, nor shall he cause any alarm device to be activated, with the knowledge that such activation would constitute an "intentional false alarm," as that term is defined in § 100-1 above.
Nothing contained herein shall preclude other organizations involved in the alarm process, such as the Northampton County E-911 Center, a commercial alarm monitoring company, or the like, from assessing charges and/or fees for the registration, maintenance, testing, monitoring or other services provided upon the owner of an alarm device.
The registration of an alarm device shall not constitute acceptance by the Borough, nor any of the Borough's emergency service provider agencies, nor the Northampton County E-911 Center, of any liability to maintain any equipment, to respond to alarms or otherwise render these agencies liable to any person for any loss or damage relating to the processes and procedures as are promulgated hereunder.
Further, the registration of the alarm device under this chapter shall not be construed by any person, as defined under this chapter, as a guarantee, warranty and/or statement by the Borough of Hellertown, the Borough's emergency service provider agencies or the Northampton County E-911 Center that the alarm device is in good operating condition and will function as designed in the event of an emergency situation. At all times, the testing, maintenance and operation of the alarm device shall be the sole responsibility of the owner.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by Ord. No. 775]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, 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 30 days.
Those persons who shall violate the provisions of § 100-4F by causing an intentional false alarm, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to the penalties as set forth in Subsection A above, notwithstanding any other fines and penalties as may result from the filing of charges under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, Title 18.