[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Salem 11-1-1982; amended 11-15-1999, effective 1-1-2000 (Ch. 125 of the 1995 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Fires and fire prevention — See Ch. 260.
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense included the future, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any combination or assembly of electronic devices or a single device at a premises or location designed to transmit to the police, either directly or through an intermediary, a warning signaling a hazard or intrusion to which police are expected to respond. In this chapter, the term "alarm system" shall apply to all electronic security systems, services and alarms defined herein by which police are notified and expected to respond.
- ALARM USER
- Any person who owns and/or operates an alarm system within the Town of Salem, except for alarm systems on motor vehicles.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- Any alarm system which elicits an audible siren, bell or other warning device when activated.
- DIAL ALARM
- Any alarm system which automatically selects a telephone line connected to police headquarters and reproduces a prerecorded voice message or coded signal indicating the existence of the emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect. No person shall have a self-dialing telephone alarm system connected to his telephone which automatically calls a receiving agency who fails to conform to the regulations and guidelines set forth under RSA 370-A and the administrative rules adopted by the Commissioner of the Department of Safety governing the connection of self-dialing telephone alarms or any part of this chapter where applicable.
- Any natural person, corporation, incorporated association or other legal entity.
- RECEIVING AGENCY
- A governmental agency as referred to in RSA 370-A:1(I) and specifically the Salem Police Department for purposes of this chapter.
- The Town of Salem, New Hampshire.
Every alarm user shall provide to the Police Department the names and telephone numbers of at least two persons, in addition to the alarm user, who can be reached at any time, day or night, and who are authorized to respond to any emergency signal transmitted by an alarm system.
No alarm system directly connected to the Police Department shall be tested, worked on or demonstrated without first notifying the Police Department.
All alarm systems which use an audible horn, siren or bell shall be equipped with a device which will terminate such horn, siren or bell within 10 minutes after activation of the alarm system.
As regards dial alarms producing a prerecorded voice message, format of tape shall be of standard presentation as prescribed by the receiving agency. The message shall contain the subscriber's permit number and the address of where the alarm is sounding. A test or sample recordings shall be made available by the user to the receiving agency for approval prior to installation.
A permit number used to identify the origin of the alarm signal shall be assigned by the receiving agency and applied to the alarm permit at the time of issuance.
Dial alarms shall be connected so as to ring the telephone number prescribed by the receiving agency.
Permit required. No person shall operate or have installed an alarm system within the Town of Salem without first acquiring a permit as issued herein.
Permit application requirements. Upon application to him, the Chief of Police or his designee is hereby authorized to issue a permit to an applicant to have installed and to operate within the Town of Salem an alarm system, subject to the following provisions:
Alarm user permit application and installation forms are available at the receiving agency. Alarm users will complete the application form and return it, together with the installation form (to be completed by the installer performing the installation), to the receiving agency before an alarm permit may be issued.
Alarm users are responsible for notifying the receiving agency of any anticipated changes in the design, purpose or termination of any alarm system described in the original application for permit. The standard installation form may be used for this purpose and must be filed with the agency prior to any change taking place.
The Chief of Police or his designee shall determine whether permit and installation applications conform to the requirements of this chapter and that the facts stated therein are true and accurate.
The Chief of Police or his designee, upon receipt of the permit fee required and upon compliance by the applicant with this chapter, shall issue a permit to have installed and to operate the proposed alarm system.
Alarm users to whom a permit has been issued shall keep said permit within the protected premises/location for which the permit was issued. Any alarm permit issued under this chapter shall be made available for inspection upon demand of any authorized Salem police officer.
A residential permit shall include all private dwellings, summer (vacation) residences, individual apartments, rental property or condominium units occupied by the applicant, for which the applicant shall pay the Town of Salem a permit fee as provided in § 178-11.
A separate commercial permit shall be required for each alarm system owned or leased by a business, corporation, unincorporated association or other legal entity which exists at a separate premises/location.
All federal, state, county, local government and other agencies as approved by the Board of Selectmen shall be exempt from permit fees and service charges. However, they shall comply with all other requests of the Chief of Police or his designee as shall concern the operation of their alarm systems.
All persons 65 years of age or older who are the principal occupants of the private residence listed on the permit application shall be exempt from permit fees but shall comply with all other requirements of this chapter.
The Chief of Police or his designee, upon notification to him that the Police Department has received 10 false alarms from a permittee in a calendar year, shall send a written notice by certified mail to the alarm user. The notice shall list the dates and times of the false alarms recorded. In addition, the notice will call the alarm user's attention to § 178-9B of this chapter.
An alarm user's failure to pay a false alarm service charge as prescribed herein shall subject the user to possible suspension or revocation of his alarm user's permit, pending a hearing upon request. See Subsection C.
Upon receipt of any notice to suspend or revoke an alarm user's permit, the alarm user may, within five days of said receipt, submit a written request for a hearing before the Chief of Police or his designee, setting forth the reasons why his permit should not be suspended or revoked.
At the hearing, the holder of the permit shall have the right to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses and be represented by counsel. Such a hearing shall be informal and shall not be subject to rules of evidence or formal courtroom procedure. After the hearing, the Chief of Police may issue an order of suspension and/or revocation for a given period of time. He may also withdraw any previous order of suspension, revocation or service charge.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Chief of Police made under the provisions of this chapter shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Selectmen. Such appeal shall be in writing and filed with the Chief of Police within five days of the date of the Chief's decision. Said appeal shall fully explain the grounds of appeal.
The Board of Selectmen shall set a date of hearing promptly and upon its conclusion shall decide the matter within a reasonable time and notify the applicant accordingly.
During the period of appeal, the alarm system will remain in operation with approved service charges applied for recorded false alarms.
An alarm user whose permit has been revoked may reapply for a new permit. The fee to reinstate a permit that has been revoked for excessive false alarms is as provided in § 178-11. The Chief of Police, however, is not required to issue a new permit unless he is satisfied that the user's alarm system deficiencies have been corrected.
Any alarm user who, after having a permit suspended or revoked and after exhausting his right to a hearing, continues to operate his alarm system shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be fined as provided in § 178-12 for each false alarm plus additional charges if applicable.
When emergency alarm signals are received by the Police Department that indicate a failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter, the Chief of Police is authorized to require that the users of such alarm systems cease all such signals until the alarm device is made to comply with said requirements.
Any alarm user having an alarm system on his premises/location who fails to obtain an alarm user's permit or whose permit has been suspended, revoked or denied shall be charged as provided in Subsection D for each alarm that the police respond to and per day for every day after the first alarm was received until the system is rendered inoperable.
Any alarm user having an alarm system on his premises/location and any user of alarm services or equipment designed and installed with the intent of eliciting a police response shall pay to the Town of Salem a service charge for each and every false alarm to which the police respond in each calendar year as follows: after three false alarms in a calendar year, where such false alarms result in a response by the Police Department, the alarm user shall be assessed a service charge as provided in Subsection D for the fourth and any subsequent false intrusion (burglary), holdup or hazard alarms.
Failure to pay false alarm service charges within 30 calendar days from date of receipt may subject the alarm user to suspension or revocation of his alarm user's permit as prescribed in § 178-6 of this chapter.
Charges for false alarms, as adopted by the Board of Selectmen, are on file with the Police Department and on the Town of Salem website.
The Police Department of the Town of Salem shall take every reasonable precaution to assure that the alarm signals and prerecorded alarm messages received by the Police Department are given appropriate attention and are acted upon with dispatch. Nevertheless, the Police Department or the Town shall not be liable for any defects in operation of alarm devices, for any failure or neglect to respond appropriately upon receipt of an alarm from such a defective system nor for failure or neglect of any person in connection with the installation and operation of alarm systems or their components or the transmission of alarm signals and messages. In the event that the police find it necessary not to respond or to require users to cease transmitting signals from alarm systems not conforming to this chapter or act to prevent the sounding of false alarms, neither the Police Department nor the Town shall be held liable for such action.
Permit fees, as adopted by the Board of Selectmen, are on file with the Police Department and on the Town of Salem website.
Fines for violation of the provisions of this chapter, as adopted by the Board of Selectmen, are on file with the Police Department and on the Town of Salem website. Fines shall not exceed the maximum penalty established pursuant to RSA 31:39, III.