Town of Mansfield, MA
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Mansfield 5-19-2015 ATM by Art. 21. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 94.
When used in this bylaw, unless a contrary intention clearly appears, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system or portion of a combination system that consists of components and circuits arranged to monitor and annunciate the status of fire alarm or supervisory signal-initiating devices and to initiate the appropriate response to those signals, capable of transmitting a fire alarm signal to the Mansfield Fire Department via telephone or radio.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM MALFUNCTION
The transmittal of a fire alarm to the Mansfield Fire Department via the telephone or radio, which alarm is caused by a malfunction. For the purposes of this bylaw, a "malfunction" is defined as the failure of a fire alarm system to operate in the normal or usual manner due to improper installation or maintenance and/or mechanical defect(s) in the system, resulting in the transmittal of a needless alarm signal to the Mansfield Fire Department.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM OWNER
An individual or entity who or which owns the title to and/or has on their or its business a fire alarm system equipped to send a fire alarm signal to the Mansfield Fire Department. Excluded from this definition are single-family residential properties, two-family residential properties, municipal, county, state and federal properties.
HALF-YEAR PERIOD
January 1 through June 30 or July 1 through December 31, as the case may be, of any calendar year.
MALICIOUSLY INDUCED ALARM
An owner will not be assessed a fine for a maliciously induced alarm but a criminal complaint shall be brought against the initiator of the alarm. The authority having jurisdiction will determine through proper investigation whether or not the alarm was false or maliciously induced.
RADIO MASTER BOX OWNER
An individual or entity who or which has on their or its business a fire alarm system equipped to send a fire alarm signal directly to the Mansfield Fire Department via a master box.
The Fire Chief may promulgate such rules as may be necessary for the implementation of this bylaw.
A. 
Before the fire alarm system is connected to the Mansfield Fire Department, the master box owner shall provide the Fire Chief or their designee with the following information:
(1) 
The name, address, and home and work telephone numbers of the master box owner;
(2) 
The street address where the radio master box is located;
(3) 
The names, addresses and telephone numbers of the persons or businesses protected by the fire alarm system connected to the radio master box; and
(4) 
The names, addresses and home and work telephone numbers of at least two persons other than the owner who can be contacted 24 hours a day, who are authorized by the master box owner to respond to an alarm signal and who have access to the premises in which the radio master box is located.
B. 
Radio master box owners shall pay to the Town of Mansfield an annual assessment of $200, payable on or before June 30 of each year, for each radio master box owned by a radio master box owner. Failure of the radio master box owner to pay the assessed fee to the Town of Mansfield by the date due may subject the owner of the radio master box to be fined $50 per day for each day that the assessment remains unpaid.
C. 
If at passage of this bylaw a fire alarm radio system has already been connected to the Mansfield Fire Department via a master box, the master box owner shall comply with the requirements of this section within 60 days after the Mansfield Fire Department has receipt of proof of delivery of a registered/return receipt letter issued by the Fire Department notifying the master box owner of the requirements of this section.
D. 
If a master box owner fails to comply with this section, they shall be punished by a fine of $50 for each day of noncompliance.
A. 
Before the central station operating company is connected with the Mansfield Fire Department, it shall provide the Fire Chief or their designee with the following information:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone numbers of the central station operating company;
(2) 
The name, addresses and telephone numbers of the persons or businesses protected by the fire alarm system connected by the central station operating company;
(3) 
A copy of the central station operating company's certification from a nationally recognized listing company as a central station operating company;
(4) 
The names, addresses, and home and work telephone numbers of at least two persons who can be contacted 24 hours a day, who are authorized by the central station operating company to respond to an alarm signal and who have access to the premises from which the alarm signal is emitting to the central station operating company; and
(5) 
The name, address, home and work telephone numbers, and the location of the premises of each customer of the central station operating company who has a fire alarm system equipped to send a fire alarm signal to the central station operating company.
B. 
If at the passage of this bylaw a central station operating company already has a direct connection to the Mansfield Fire Department, the central station operating company shall comply with the requirements of this section within 60 days after the Mansfield Fire Department has receipt of proof of delivery of a registered/return receipt letter issued by the Fire Department notifying the master box owner of the requirements of this section.
C. 
If a central station operating company fails to comply with this section, the Fire Chief or their designee may assess a fine of $50 for each day of noncompliance.
Every radio master box owner and every central station operating company shall be responsible for updating the information herein required to be provided to the Fire Chief or their designee. If the information provided changes, the radio master box owner and the central station operating company shall provide the Fire Chief or their designee with the updated changes by the first day of the month following the changes. If a radio master box owner or a central station operating company fails to comply with this section, the Fire Chief or their designee shall assess a fine of $50 for each day of noncompliance.
No alarm system designed to transmit emergency messages directly to the Fire Department via radio master box shall be worked on, tested or demonstrated without obtaining permission from the Fire Department. Permission is not required to test or demonstrate alarm devices not transmitting emergency messages directly to the Fire Department. An unauthorized test shall constitute a false alarm.
A burn-in period of 30 days from final inspection will be granted, during which time no fines will be assessed.
A. 
Upon receipt of three or more false alarms within a six-month period from multifamily residential or from commercial/industrial properties, the Fire Chief or their designee may assess a fine pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21, against the fire alarm system owner.
B. 
The following acts and omissions shall constitute violations of this bylaw punishable by the fines as herein provided:
(1) 
An alarm user whose alarm system transmits or otherwise causes more than three false alarms in a six-month period shall be assessed a fine according to the following schedule:
(a) 
Fourth false alarm: $100.
(b) 
Fifth false alarm: $150.
(c) 
Sixth false alarm: $200.
(d) 
Seventh false alarm: $250.
(e) 
Eighth and any subsequent false alarms: $300.
(2) 
An alarm user who fails to comply with any of the requirements of § 81-6 of this bylaw relative to the testing of equipment shall be punished by a fine of $300.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, or part of this bylaw or the application thereof to any persons or circumstances shall for any reason be adjudged by a court to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder and the application thereof to other persons or circumstances but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall been rendered, and to the person or circumstances involved.
[Amended 4-10-2018 ATM by Art. 41]
It shall be unlawful to install a mechanical protection device that is automatically keyed to and/or activates the telephone (numbers) lines controlled by and/or listed to the Mansfield Police Department; all such devices installed before the effective date of this bylaw shall be defined as an electrically operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which automatically sends over regular telephone lines, by direct connection or otherwise, a prerecorded voice alarm upon receipt of a stimulus from the sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of a fire or unauthorized intrusion.
No person or business shall have an alarm system that notifies the Mansfield Police Department by means of a dedicated or a nondedicated telephone line, recorded device, or other means, without first completing an alarm application form prescribed by the Chief of Police or their designee.
An alarm system for either a residential or compound building that utilizes an audible device that is detectable outside of the building shall be equipped with an automatic shutoff that will silence the audible device after no more than 30 minutes of the activation of the alarm system. Failure to comply with this bylaw will result in a one-time fine of $100 to be issued by the Chief of Police or their designee within 30 days via United States Postal Service certified mail.
"False alarm" is any burglar/panic alarm system activated in the absence of an emergency, whether willfully or by inadvertence, negligence or an unintentional act, including any mechanical or electrical malfunction or the alarm system to which the Mansfield Police Department is alerted for a response.
When the Police Department has responded to a false alarm, the appropriate Administrator shall impose a charge on the responsible alarm user according to the below referenced schedule. In instances where the Police Department responds to a false alarm, the Administrator shall be the Police Chief.
A. 
Residential false alarms.
(1) 
First five false alarms within one calendar year: no charge.
(2) 
Sixth offense within one calendar year: $25.
(3) 
Seventh and each additional offense within one calendar year: $50.
B. 
Business false alarms.
(1) 
First five false alarms within one calendar year: no charge.
(2) 
Sixth offense within one calendar year: $50.
(3) 
Seventh offense within one calendar year: $100.
(4) 
Eighth and each additional offense within one calendar year: $200.
**
After each fifth false alarm, the Chief of Police or their designee shall write a letter notifying the property owner/representative that they will be issued a monetary fine for each additional false alarm for the remainder of the calendar year.
For each false alarm, a noncriminal disposition penalty as listed in Article II, § 81-14, may be imposed. If the fine is not paid, the Town may institute civil or criminal proceedings to enforce the provisions of this bylaw.
The Town representative shall notify the responsible alarm user of any false alarm charge immediately if the alarm user or their representative is present at the time. If the alarm user or their representative is not present, the Office of the Chief of Police shall notify the responsible alarm user of any false alarm charge by certified mail within 30 days.
[Amended 4-9-2019 ATM by Art. 28]
If an alarm user wishes to contest the imposed penalty, such user may do so in accordance with MGL c. 40, § 21D, by making a written request for a noncriminal hearing to the Clerk Magistrate at the Attleboro District Court and enclosing a copy of the citation within 21 days of the date that the citation is received either in hand to the alarm user or the user's representative or by certified mail.
Refusal or failure to pay a charge properly levied shall result in prosecution of the violation in the local District Court. The enforcing person shall be the Chief of Police or their designee. Also, the licensing authority may, at their discretion, deny, revoke or suspend any license or permit, including renewals and transfers, of any party whose name appears on said list furnished to the licensing authority from the Tax Collector; provided, however, that written notice is given to the party and the Tax Collector and the party is given a hearing no longer than 21 days.
Charges for false alarms will be collected by the Town Clerk and deposited into the General Fund of the Town.
A. 
The provisions of any part or parts of this bylaw shall not apply to alarm devices on premises owned or controlled by the Town. Also, this bylaw shall not apply to alarm devices installed in motor vehicles or trailers.
B. 
The provisions of any part or parts of this bylaw shall be suspended during severe inclement weather and power outages that may result in a burglar/panic alarm malfunctioning.
This bylaw will take effect on January 1, 2019.