[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Clairton 10-8-2013 by Ord. No. 1882. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following terms shall have their corresponding definitions for every provision of this chapter:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment and devices arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which a police or fire and rescue response is expected.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm that causes a police or fire and rescue response when there is no actual or threatened criminal activity, fire, or other emergency requiring an immediate police or fire and rescue response. False alarms shall include, but not be limited to, negligently or accidentally activated signals; signals which are the result of faulty, malfunctioning or improperly installed or maintained equipment; signals which are purposefully activated to summon a police or fire and rescue response in nonemergency situations; and alarms for which the actual cause is not determined. False alarms shall not include any alarms caused by failure of the equipment at the emergency communications center, or any alarms determined by the responding police or fire and rescue officer to have been triggered by criminal activity, activity unauthorized by the alarm system user, or activity outside the control of the alarm system user.
A person owning a premises upon which an alarm system is found must maintain the alarm system in good working order.
Because alarm systems that generate multiple false alarms within a short period of time may be malfunctioning, the Chief of Police or his designee and the Fire and Rescue Chief or his designee shall have the discretion to suspend responses to an alarm system after the second false alarm generated within a twenty-four-hour period; such suspension shall last for the remainder of the twenty-four-hour period.
A person owning property upon which an alarm system is found shall disconnect or disable any alarm system upon a written determination and notice by the Chief of Police or his designee or by the Fire and Rescue Chief or his designee that the installation, use, operation and/or maintenance of the alarm system would constitute an "unreasonable burden" on police or fire and rescue resources.
Any alarm system which generates three or more false alarms within a thirty-day period shall be deemed an "unreasonable burden" on police, EMS, fire and rescue resources.
No person shall send or activate a false alarm that causes a police or fire and rescue response where there is no actual or threatened crime, fire, or other emergency requiring an immediate police or fire and rescue response. Violations of this section shall result in the assessment of penalties as provided below.
Violations of this chapter shall be subject to the following penalties:
Under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree to intentionally cause a false alarm to be reported to a public safety agency, such as a 911 call center or an emergency service center [18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4905(b)] and a felony of the third degree to do the same during a state of emergency. The City will strictly enforce this law to the utmost of its ability, and shall appropriately prosecute all such false emergencies.