City of Fredericksburg, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Code 1991, § 13-196]
The regulation of alarm systems and false alarms is necessary to promote the health, safety and welfare of the people of the City insofar as substandard alarm equipment and false alarms constitute a hazard to the police and public in general. A false intrusion or robbery alarm increases police costs, diverts police resources from regular duties, and enhances the danger of auto collision or other incidents en route to the alarm site.
[Code 1991, § 13-198; Ord. No. 11-18, 6-28-2011; Ord. No. 13-15, 9-10-2013]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
A. 
The business by any person:
(1) 
Selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, removing, or installing any alarm system.
(2) 
Causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, removed, or installed an alarm system in or on any building, structure, or premises.
(3) 
Operating an alarm system for an alarm user whereby the initial signal is transmitted to the alarm business.
B. 
Such term, however, shall not include alarm systems maintained by governmental agencies or departments, nor shall it include a business which merely sells from a fixed location or manufactures alarm systems unless such business services, installs, monitors, or responds to alarm systems at the protected premises.
ALARM SYSTEM
An assembly of equipment, either mechanical or electrical, arranged to signal an unlawful entry or other unlawful activity requiring urgent attention at protected premises and to which a law enforcement agency may reasonably be expected to respond. The term shall include, but not be limited to, localized or audible alarms.
ALARM USER
Any person in control of any protected building, structure, or premises where an alarm system is maintained or any person, acting as agent or otherwise, who is issued an alarm permit.
AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
A device interconnected to a telephone line and programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and to transmit by voice message or code signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency response.
FALSE ALARM
The activation or failure of an alarm system through mechanical or electronic failure; malfunction; improper installation; or the negligence of the alarm user, his/her employee, or agents that elicits a response from a law enforcement agency when a situation requiring such response does not in fact exist. However, it shall not include an alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm user or alarm company operator.
PERMIT HOLDER or PERMITTEE
The owner of the protected premises or the applicant, in lieu of the owner, on the application.
POLICE ALARM BOARD
A signal board at police headquarters receiving input directly from an alarm system.
RUNAWAY ALARM
An alarm system that produces repeated alarm signals that do not appear to be caused by separate human action.
SIA CONTROL PANEL STANDARD CP-01
The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) approved Security Industry Association (SIA) CP-01 Control Panel Standard. Control panels built and tested to this standard will be marked: "Design evaluated in accordance with SIA CP-01 Control Panel Standard Features for False Alarm Reduction."
[Code 1991, § 13-201; Ord. No. 11-18, 6-28-2011; Ord. No. 13-15, 9-10-2013]
A. 
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section, any person who violates a provision of this article shall pay a fine of $100.
B. 
Any alarm user of an alarm system which sends multiple false alarms within a calendar year shall pay a fine to the City in accordance with the following schedule:
(1) 
Third, fourth and fifth false alarm, each: $50.
(2) 
Sixth and seventh false alarm, each: $100.
(3) 
Eighth and ninth false alarm, each: $250.
(4) 
Tenth and over false alarms, each: $500.
C. 
Any alarm user who fails to deactivate an alarm system within one hour after notification by the Police Department that such alarm system has been activated shall pay a fine of $50 to the City.
D. 
The Chief of Police shall have the authority to issue written notices of violations of this section. Proper notification shall be deemed to have been made when a certified letter has been mailed to the last known address of the alleged violator or to the residence of the permit holder as submitted on the application. All fines due under this section shall be paid directly to the Police Department.
[Code 1991, § 13-197]
The provisions of this article shall not be applicable to audible alarms affixed to automobiles, boats, boat trailers, house trailers or recreational vehicles or to alarm systems which generate a signal limited to the protected premises and intended to alert only persons on the premises.
[Code 1991, § 13-199]
The City shall be under no duty or obligation to a permittee or any other person pursuant to any provisions of this article, including, but not limited to, liability for any defects in an alarm system or any delays in transmission or responses to any alarm.
[Code 1991, § 13-200; Ord. No. 13-15, 9-10-2013]
The Chief of Police shall have the authority to promulgate regulations pursuant to this article, including, but not limited to:
A. 
Registration and forms;
B. 
Permit fees and fines;
C. 
Processing false alarms;
D. 
Alarm response procedures, including discontinuance of police response to a runaway alarm and alarm company response requirements;
E. 
Alarm deactivation procedures;
F. 
Recordkeeping; and
G. 
Administration and enforcement of this article.
[Code 1991, § 13-221(a)(1); Ord. No. 11-18, 6-28-2011]
No person shall install or maintain in the City any alarm system without having a valid permit issued in accordance with this article. Such permit may be obtained either by the owner of the protected premises, the owner's agent or by an alarm company operator as agent for such owner.
[Code 1991, § 13-222(a), (b); Ord. No. 11-18, 6-28-2011; Ord. No. 13-15, 9-10-2013]
A. 
All original applications for permits under this article shall be filed with the Chief of Police or his designee.
B. 
The Chief of Police shall prescribe the form and contents of the application, which shall contain pertinent information such as the premises where the alarm is installed, type of system, manufacturer's name, service company's name, premises owner's name, and full information on people who can be reached if the alarm is activated and who are authorized to deactivate the alarm system.
C. 
The treasurer will send out yearly renewal notices and the Police Department will receive the annual permit fee. No renewal permits shall be issued if there are unpaid alarm-related fines or permit fees.
D. 
(Reserved)
E. 
Multiple alarm systems. If an alarm user has one or more alarm systems protecting two or more separate structures having different addresses and/or tenants, a separate application and permit is required for each structure and/or tenant.
F. 
Transfer of possession. When possession of the premises at which an alarm system is maintained is transferred, the new alarm user shall file an application for an alarm permit within 30 days of obtaining possession of the property. Alarm permits are not transferable.
[Code 1991, § 13-222(c)]
An alarm system permit may be denied by the Chief of Police if:
A. 
An applicant fails to comply with or meet any requirement of this article;
B. 
An applicant makes a material false statement on his application; or
C. 
The Chief of Police makes a written determination that the issuance of a permit would constitute an unreasonable burden to the Police Department or would endanger the public safety.
[Code 1991, § 13-221(a)(2); Ord. No. 11-18, 6-28-2011]
All permits and renewals of permits under this article shall be issued upon the payment of a $40 permit fee to the City Treasurer. This fee may be prorated on a quarterly basis for original permit applications for less than an entire calendar year.
[Code 1991, § 13-221(a)(3); Ord. No. 11-18, 6-28-2011]
A permit issued pursuant to this article shall be valid only for the calendar year in which it is issued. If the original application is for less than an entire year, an original permit may be issued for a term not to exceed 23 months.
[Code 1991, § 13-221(b)(1), (2); Ord. No. 11-18, 6-28-2011; Ord. No. 13-15, 9-10-2013]
A. 
Automatic dialing devices shall not be installed to any trunk line going into a City building other than on a line specified by the Chief of Police.
B. 
No applicant, person or entity shall use an alarm system when permission to use such system has been denied, revoked or suspended pursuant to § 34-63 or 34-67 herein, and no applicant, person or entity shall fail to disconnect such alarm system within 10 days after such denial, revocation and/or suspension.
C. 
Any person who activates an alarm system for the purpose of summoning law enforcement when no burglary, robbery, or other crime dangerous to life or property is being committed or attempted on the premises, or otherwise to causes a false alarm shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
D. 
It shall be unlawful to install, maintain, or use an audible alarm system which can sound continually for more than 10 minutes.
[Code 1991, § 13-223; Ord. No. 13-15, 9-10-2013]
A. 
The Chief of Police may revoke or suspend a permit issued under this article if:
(1) 
The permit application contains a false statement of a material fact;
(2) 
The permittee or alarm company operator fails to comply with any provision of this article or the regulations adopted by the Chief of Police;
(3) 
An alarm system repeatedly activates false alarms; or
(4) 
An alarm user fails to pay a fine within 35 days of its assessment.
B. 
Upon revoking or suspending a permit, the Chief of Police shall mail written notice of the revocation or suspension to the alarm user stating the reason therefore, the duration of the suspension if applicable, and the conditions under which the permit will be reinstated. The written notice shall inform the alarm user that police response to the alarm will be discontinued during the period of revocation or suspension. The written notice shall inform the alarm user of an administrative process through which to appeal the revocation or suspension.
[Ord. No. 13-15, 9-10-2013]
An alarm user shall:
A. 
Provide the alarm company the permit number, (the number must be provided to the communications center by the alarm company to insure dispatch);
B. 
Respond or cause a representative to respond to the alarm system's location within 30 minutes when notified by the Fredericksburg Police Department;
C. 
Not manually activate an alarm for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the alarm system was intended to report;
D. 
Obtain a new permit and pay any associated fees if there is a change in address or ownership of a business or residence;
E. 
Renew an alarm permit every calendar year.
[Ord. No. 13-15, 9-10-2013]
A. 
An alarm company operating in the City of Fredericksburg shall ensure the alarm user has a valid alarm permit issued by the City of Fredericksburg Police Department before installing or activating any alarm system, commercial or residential.
B. 
All new and upgraded alarm system installations shall use alarm control panels which meet SIA Control Panel Standard CP-01.