City of Marshfield, MO
Webster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 203.010, Established, 203.020, Duties, and 203.030, Chief and Assistant Chief(s), were repealed 7-23-2020 by Ord. No. 1943.
[R.O. 2014 §203.040; Ord. No. 1943, 7-23-2020]
The District Fire Chief shall have full power, control, and command over all persons at a fire. It shall be within the authority of the District Fire Chief to direct at all fires such measures as deemed advisable for the extinguishment and control of such fires. The Chief and Assistant Chief(s) of any Fire Department shall have full authority to detain or direct any person who obstructs them in the service of their duty.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 203.050, Mutual Aid or Emergency Assistance, was repealed 7-23-2020 by Ord. No. 1943.
[Ord. No. 1850, 5-23-2019; Ord. No. 1943, 7-23-2020]
A. 
Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Section, shall have the following meanings ascribed to them, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ALARM SYSTEM
Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed to be actuated manually or automatically upon the detection of a fire emergency or other emergency in or upon any building, structure, facility or premises through the emission of a sound or transmission of a signal or message.
FALSE ALARM
Any activation of an alarm system intentionally or by inadvertence, negligence or unintentional act to which the Fire Protection District responds, including activation caused by the malfunction of the alarm system, except that the following shall not be considered false alarms:
a. 
When the District Fire Chief or his/her designee determines that an alarm has been caused by damage, testing or repair of telephone equipment or lines by the telephone company, provided that such incidents are promptly reported to the telephone company.
b. 
When an alarm is caused by an attempted or unauthorized or illegal entry, of which there is visible evidence.
c. 
When an alarm is intentionally caused by a resident or employee acting under a reasonable belief that a need exists to call the Fire Protection District.
d. 
When an alarm is followed by a call to the Fire Protection District cancelling the alarm by giving proper information, prior to the arrival of the Fire Protection District at the source of the alarm.
e. 
When the alarm is caused by a natural or man-made catastrophe, or an act of God, including such events as tornadoes, floods, earthquakes or similar violent conditions.
B. 
Civil Penalties. All false alarms, as defined in this Section, to which the Fire Protection District responds, after the second false alarm in a one-year period, shall result in a civil penalty as set forth in the following schedule:
1. 
Third false alarm and each false alarm call thereafter from a facility other than a residence within a one-year period, fifty dollars ($50.00) per false alarm call.
2. 
Third false alarm and each false alarm call thereafter from a residence within a one-year period, fifteen dollars ($15.00) per false alarm call.
C. 
Determination That False Alarm Has Occurred. The burden of proof that an alarm call falls within the exceptions to the false alarm definition shall be upon the person charged with the violation. Beginning with a determination by the Fire Protection District that the third false alarm has occurred, the Fire Protection District shall send a notice to the alarm user notifying the alarm user of the determination and directing payment within thirty (30) days. For the first two (2) calls, the determination of the Fire Protection District shall be deemed to be conclusive as to whether or not a false alarm has occurred for all purposes, including prosecution under Subsection (H) of this Section. The Fire Protection District may consider, in determining whether or not the first two (2) calls are false alarms, any written or oral statement that the alarm user submits, provided such statement is provided within thirty (30) days after the date of notice for the third false alarm. Since no penalties accrue for the first two (2) calls, it has been determined, as a legislative matter, that for administrative convenience there shall be no right to notice or right to contest or appeal the determination of the Fire Protection District for the first two (2) calls.
D. 
New Systems. Any alarm user who has had an alarm system installed for less than sixty (60) days shall not be subject to the penalties set forth in this Section, nor shall any alarm that occurs within the first sixty (60) days after installation be counted in determining whether more than three (3) false alarms have occurred, provided:
1. 
The alarm user, the alarm business or the installer submits to the Fire Protection District proof as to when the alarm system was installed within thirty (30) days after notice is given by the Fire Protection District under Subsection (C) of this Section; and
2. 
The Fire Protection District determines the date of the installation of the alarm system and that the alarm occurred within the first sixty (60) days after the system was installed.
An alarm user shall provide, upon request from the Fire Protection District, information concerning the name of the alarm user, the date of the installation, the address where the alarm system was installed, the type of system installed, and such other information as the Fire Protection District may require to determine the date of installation. If such information has been submitted to the Fire Protection District and the Fire Protection District determines that the alarm did not take place within the first sixty (60) days after installation of the alarm system, then the alarm user shall be subject to penalties set forth in this Section. The alarm user may raise, as a defense to prosecution under this Section, that the false alarm took place within the first sixty (60) days after the alarm system was installed, provided the alarm user raised the issue and submitted proof to the Fire Protection District concerning the date of installation as required in this Section. The alarm user shall have the burden of proving such defense.
E. 
Exceptions. The Fire Protection District may cancel any notice or civil penalty upon satisfactory proof by the alarm user that a particular alarm falls within the exceptions enumerated in Subsection (A) of this Section.
F. 
Criminal Penally. In addition to the civil penalties stated in this Section, it shall be considered a violation of this Section for an alarm user to have four (4) or more false alarms in a one-year period, as defined in this Section. In a prosecution for this violation under Subsection (H) of this Section, each false alarm after the third such false alarm shall constitute a separate violation. Further, in determining such a violation, the issues of whether an alarm constitutes an exception to the false alarm definition under Subsection (A) of this Section, or when a false alarm occurred with respect to the date of installation of the alarm system, shall be considered affirmative defenses, and the burden of raising and presenting evidence establishing such shall be upon the alarm user. Nothing contained in this Section shall prohibit the court from imposing a fine that is higher than the civil penalty established in this Section.
G. 
Suspension Of Fire Protection District Response. In addition to the penalties set forth in this Section, the Fire Protection District shall, upon sending notice of the fourth false alarm in one (1) year, advise the alarm user that the Fire Protection District shall, upon the eighth false alarm in one (1) year, declare that the alarm system constitutes a public nuisance, and Fire Protection District response will be suspended. Upon the eighth false alarm, Fire Protection District response will be suspended, and will be reinitiated only upon receipt of written verification from an alarm business stating that the alarm system is in good working order and that the personnel using that system have been trained in its proper operation. Upon the 12th false alarm within one (1) year, Fire Protection District response shall be suspended for one (1) year. The Fire Protection District shall notify the alarm user by ordinary mail sent to the location of the alarm system of any suspension of Fire Protection District response under this Section. This suspension of Fire Protection District response described in this Subsection (G) is limited to situations in which the only indication of the need for a Fire Protection District response to the location is the alarm generated by the activation of the alarm system at issue, and shall not include any situations in which an alarm activation is accompanied by other information or verification indicating a need for a Fire Protection District response to that location.
H. 
Penalty; Additional Remedies.
1. 
Any person who violates or causes a violation of any provision of this Section shall be punished, upon conviction, in accordance with the provisions of Section 100.240.
2. 
The City Attorney may bring an action in the name of the City to restrain or prevent a violation of any provision of this Section or any continuance of any such violation.