[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Palmyra 7-25-1994 by Ord. No. 600 (Ch. X, Part 4, of the 1975 Borough Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Borough Council finds it to be in the best interest of the residents of Palmyra Borough and the general public to prevent and deter the installation, maintenance and use of police and fire alarms that provide repetitious false alarms.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM RESPONSE
- The dispatch of police, fire or medical services personnel by the Lebanon County Communications Center.
- ALARM SUPPLIER
- The business by any individual, partnership, corporation, alarm-monitoring service or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any alarm system or causing any alarm system to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed in or on any building, structure or facility.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any assembly of equipment, mechanical, electrical or battery-operated, arranged to signal the occurrence of a police, fire, hazard or medical emergency requiring urgent attention and to which police, fire or medical units are expected to respond.
- ANSWERING SERVICE
- A service whereby trained employees, in attendance at all times, receive prerecorded voice messages from automatic dialing devices reporting an emergency at a stated location where such employees have the duty to relay immediately by live voice any such emergency message over a telephone facility to the Lebanon County Communications Center.
- AUDIBLE AND/OR VISUAL ALARM
- Any audible or visual device, such as a bell, horn, siren or light, which is installed on the premises and is designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring police, fire or medical response.
- AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
- A device which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to transmit a signal by a voice or coded message that indicates that an emergency condition exists and the need for an emergency response is required.
- The Borough of Palmyra, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.
- CENTRAL STATION
- A protective system or group of such systems operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation which accepts recorded messages from automatic dialing devices at a central station having operators and guards in attendance at all times who have the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of messages to the Lebanon County Communications Center.
- A police, fire, hazard or medical emergency.
- EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE MANAGER
- The administrative head of the Palmyra Emergency Medical Service.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm activated in the absence of an emergency, whether willfully or by inadvertence, negligence or unintentional act, including the malfunction of the alarm system, to which the Palmyra Borough Police or the Palmyra Fire Department (including the Palmyra Emergency Medical Service) responds. The term "false alarm" includes the intentional activation of a robbery or burglar alarm for reasons other than a robbery or burglary. The definition excludes malfunctions of the Lebanon County Communications Center receiving equipment if such alarm is directly connected to the Center's alarm board; testing or repairing telephone or electrical lines or equipment outside the premises; acts of God, such as earthquakes, flood, thunder or lightning; a crime or attempted crime in progress.
- FIRE CHIEF
- The administrative head of the Palmyra Borough Fire Company.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The Palmyra Fire Company or another company acting in place of the Palmyra Fire Company.
- FIRE EMERGENCY
- Fire and/or smoke.
- HAZARD EMERGENCY
- An explosion and/or leak of toxic gas, liquid or solid, or a potential explosion and/or leak.
- To use a telephone line and equipment for transmitting a message either directly or indirectly by an automatic dialing service.
- MEDICAL EMERGENCY
- An emergency involving the health of a person.
- PHONE FACILITY
- A telephonic communication device which, by its nature, is used to transmit audible voice or digital signals over wire or air in order to establish communications.
- POLICE CHIEF
- The administrative head of the Palmyra Police Department.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Palmyra Borough Police Department or another Police Department acting in the place of the Palmyra Borough Police Department.
- POLICE EMERGENCY
- An incident requiring prompt response by the Police Department.
- TRUNK LINE
- A telephone line leading into the communications center that is for the purpose of handling calls on a person-to-person basis and which is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory issued by the telephone company.
The owners or users of any audible alarm system installed on or after the effective date of this chapter must equip such audible alarms with a timing mechanism that will disengage the audible alarm after a maximum of 15 minutes.
No automatic dialing devices that transmit recorded messages directly to the Lebanon County Communications Center will be permitted.
Immediately upon the effective date of this chapter, every alarm supplier who installs any alarm system in the Borough or any current alarm holder who has an alarm which would result in a response from the Police or Fire Department shall furnish to the Chief of Police the following information:
The name, residence and telephone number of the owner or user.
The address where the device is installed and the telephone number at the address.
The name, address and telephone number of at least two other persons or firms who are authorized and would respond to an emergency to gain access to the address where the device is installed and neutralize the alarm.
The name and telephone number of any person, firm or corporation, if any, other than the alarm supplier, who is responsible for maintenance and repair of the system.
The type of alarm system, i.e., robbery, burglary, fire or medical emergency.
Users of alarm system devices whose devices were installed prior to the effective date of this chapter shall, within 60 days after such enactment, supply the Chief of Police with information specified in Subsection A.
All information furnished pursuant to this section shall be kept confidential and shall be for the authorized use of police, fire and emergency medical services.
Every alarm supplier selling, leasing or furnishing to any user who privately installs an alarm system which is located on a premises within Palmyra Borough shall:
Be permitted to install only equipment that is listed by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc. as being electrically safe and meeting the Borough's requirements for the alarm system and all applicable state and Borough building and electrical codes. Wiring for the alarm system must conform to all applicable Borough codes.
Cause each alarm system installed to be provided with a standby battery power which will automatically and immediately take over in the event of a power failure.
Install equipment in such a way as to neutralize electrical surges on the alarm system.
Deactivate and repair any alarm system within a reasonable period of time as determined by the Police Chief, Fire Chief and/or Emergency Medical Service Manager when multiple false alarms are received.
No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of any alarm system without first notifying the Lebanon County Public Safety Communications Center.
Alarm suppliers and installers shall furnish at their own expense, prior to time of contracting, a copy of this chapter to owners, lessees or users of the equipment or services to be supplied.
Any owner of an alarm system that has a direct or indirect connection which results in a call for response will be charged $25 for the third, fourth and fifth false alarms responded to by the Police, Fire or Emergency Medical Department within a calendar year. The false alarm response charge for the sixth and subsequent false alarms during a calendar year shall be $100 for each response.
The owner will receive a written billing statement by registered or certified mail, which will include a notice that any owner who fails or refuses to pay their false alarm response charges will be subject to the penalties hereinafter set forth.
It is the intent of this chapter to encourage property owners with alarm systems to upgrade, maintain or repair such alarm system or systems by imposing a penalty when multiple false alarms occur from the same system which would not occur if the system were in proper working order. It is not the intent of this chapter to penalize any owner or operator of multiple systems that are not integrated or interrelated, i.e., standalone systems, any of which may malfunction occasionally. It is not the total number of false alarm responses for any particular location that the ordinance seeks to eliminate; it is the total number of false alarm responses caused by a particular system which repeatedly malfunctions within a calendar year. For burglar, water flow or electronic fire detection in one or more buildings, each of which operates independently and without relation to the other systems, each such standalone system would be permitted two false alarm responses before any penalty would be imposed on the property owner for that particular standalone system causing a false alarm response.
Property owners believing that he, she, it or they have multiple alarm systems are encouraged to provide the Police Chief with evidence of such multiple systems in order that a determination can be made in advance as to whether such system is a standalone system or is integrated in such a manner that it is part of a larger system and not separately entitled to the two annual nonpenalized false alarm responses.
Any person repairing, maintaining or installing an alarm system must advise Lebanon County Communications Center immediately prior to commencing work and immediately after completion of work. If any false alarm occurs resulting in a call response by police or fire personnel as a result of the failure to advise the Lebanon County Communications Center, said person shall be subject to the penalties set forth hereinafter.
Any person, corporation or business entity who violates any provision of this chapter and/or disregards compliance with § 100-9A of this chapter shall, in a summary proceeding before a Magisterial District Judge, be required to pay a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $300, plus costs of prosecution, and upon failure to make prompt payment of same, to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days. Each failure to pay shall be a separate offense. Upon conviction of a second offense, the fine shall not be less than $50 nor more than $300, plus costs of prosecution, and upon failure to make prompt payment, to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days. For any third and successive offense occurring within one calendar year, the fine shall not be less than $150 nor more than $300, and upon failure to make prompt payment, to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days.