[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lower Burrell 2-11-1985 by Ord. No. 2-1985; amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Council finds it to be in the interest of the residents of the City and the general public to prevent and deter the installation, maintenance and use of police, burglar or fire alarm systems that provide repetitious false alarms.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- POLICE, BURGLAR OR FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS
- Includes alarms commonly referred to as "burglar alarms" and "holdup" alarms.
The use of police, burglar or fire alarm systems, whether audible or direct line type of alarms, are expressly permitted, subject to the following conditions:
Direct line radio or other electronic police, burglar or fire alarm systems shall be installed by competent workmen so that such devices shall not emit false alarms.
Any alarm system that produces false alarms shall constitute a public nuisance if such system activates more than one false alarm in any thirty-day period, or two false alarms in any ninety-day period, or four false alarms in any three-hundred-sixty-five-day period.
Any police officer or fire company who or which responds to a false alarm shall report the same to the Chief of Police who shall monitor and maintain records concerning such false alarms.
When any alarm system shall constitute a public nuisance, as set forth hereunder, the Chief of Police shall notify the owner of the system that it has activated more false alarms than is permissible hereunder, and that any future false alarms shall result in the prosecution for violation of this chapter.
Notice as required by this chapter shall be given by the Chief of Police by mailing by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service of such notice by handing a copy of the same to the owner of the subject property, or to an adult representative thereof. If service is made in person, the Chief of Police, or his or her designee, shall file a proof of service which shall be under oath, and which shall designate the person upon whom service was made.
For the purpose of this chapter, the owner of real estate on which an alarm system is placed and used shall be considered the owner and the person responsible for its proper maintenance and use.
If any false alarms shall be given by such system following the date of receipt of notice as set forth herein, the false alarm shall be unlawful and constitute a violation of this chapter.
All outdoor audible alarms that are activated falsely shall be subject to the same conditions applicable to direct-line radio or other electronic calls that result in false alarms.
Following notice by the Chief of Police that a police, burglar or fire alarm system constitutes a public nuisance, the owner of such system may file an affidavit with the Chief of Police indicating under oath that the false alarms previously caused by such system were caused by a known mechanical or other defect within the system, not to include improper use. Such owner may verify and shall include a statement by competent workmen or repairmen in the field that such system was defective and such deficiency has been corrected. Upon the filing of such affidavit with appropriate exhibits, the false alarm history concerning the premises shall be considered void and of no legal effect.
Where false alarms have originated from negligent use or a combination of negligent use and a defective system, in order to terminate the finding that the system is a public nuisance, an owner shall comply with the provisions of § 110-6, and in addition, file an affidavit explaining the steps that have been taken to correct the negligent use which has resulted in false alarms. Upon acceptance of such affidavits by the Chief of Police, the declaration of the alarm system as a public nuisance shall be considered void and of no legal effect.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days for each false alarm received after notice is provided as prescribed in § 110-4. In addition, each false alarm received after notice is provided shall constitute a separate offense and upon a second offense the fine shall be not less than $25 nor more than $600. For any third and successive offense occurring within one year, the fine shall be not less than $75 nor more than $600. Any other violations of this chapter shall result in the payment of a fine not exceeding $600, together with cost of suit. In any case where the Chief of Police has declared an alarm system to be a public nuisance, the City Solicitor may bring legal proceedings in equity or otherwise to prohibit the continued use of such system, so long as this was the disposition of the court to order the termination of a system, and to collect any and all damages on behalf of the City resulting from the use of such system.