[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Dartmouth 1-11-1984, approved 3-9-1984; amended 10-23-1984, approved 2-12-1985; 3-29-1994, approved 6-7-1994; 6-5-2007, approved 6-10-2007 (Art. 71 of the 2011 General By-Laws). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This By-Law is to regulate the use of alarms in the Town, including fire alarms and burglar alarms, and to further regulate and control the false alarms that emanate therefrom.
- A signaling device of any description which is designed for the purpose of summonsing the police and/or fire department of the Town, an including so-called "burglar alarms" and "fire alarms".
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm that is activated and causes the response of the police and/or fire department of any district where there is no valid cause or reason for the alarm to have been activated, an including an alarm that is activated through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or negligence. An alarm shall not be considered a false alarm where it is activated by an act of God, including, but not limited to, power outages, hurricanes, earthquakes and other uncontrollable circumstances.
Whenever an alarm is activated by whatever means with the result that there is a response by the Police Department or one of the Fire Districts, a record of the alarm shall be made and kept by the Police Department. In the event the Police Department has not responded to the alarm, the Fire District that responded shall report the same to the Police Department for the purposes of the record.
Whenever three or more false alarms are caused within a twelve-month period (within the fiscal year July 1 - June 30), the owner(s) or person(s) in control of said alarm shall be subject to paying a fine of $75 for each and every occurrence starting with the third false alarm, be it a business or residential activation. Starting with the fourth occurrence and including each and every occurrence up to the ninth occurrence the fine shall be $100 be it a business or residential activation. Starting with the 10th and subsequent alarm occurrences for the remaining fiscal year the fine shall be $150 for each occurrence thereafter. Any fines impose fines imposed and collected under this section concerning false alarms where a Fire District of the Town has responded to a fire alarm or smoke detection activation determined to be false shall be turned over to the appropriate Fire District after that fine has been remitted to the Town.
Any alarm installed after February 22, 1985, which is an audible type alarm shall be equipped with an automatic shut-off device which will shut off the audible component of the alarm within 30 minutes of activation. Violation of this requirement shall subject both the owner and the person responsible for the installation of the alarm to a fine of $25, and if the situation is not corrected within 30 days after notification, a fine of $25 for each day thereafter shall be imposed until corrective action is taken by either the owner or installer.
It shall be unlawful to report any alarm to the Police Department or to any of the Fire Districts by means of a recorded message. Violation of this requirement shall subject the person responsible to a fine of $25 and each occurrence shall be a separate offense.