[Ord. No. 16-15 § 215.010, 4-26-2016]
The purpose of this Chapter is to provide minimum standards and regulations applicable to emergency alarm systems, alarm businesses and alarm users as defined in this Chapter. Further, to provide penalties for non-compliance and to encourage the proper and error-free installation and operation of protective alarm systems in all dwellings and commercial structures in the City of Fredericktown.
[Ord. No. 16-15 § 215.020, 4-26-2016]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this Subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- Any business operated by a person or entity who engages in the activity of altering, installing, leasing, maintaining, moving, monitoring, repairing, replacing, selling, servicing, or responding to an emergency alarm system, or which causes any of these activities to take place.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment (or a single device, such as a solid state unit which plugs directly into a one-hundred-ten-volt AC line) arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which the Police or Fire Department is expected to respond.
- ALARM USER
- Any person, firm or legal entity that is lawfully in possession of any property or premises where an alarm system is maintained within the City, except for alarm systems on motor vehicles or proprietary systems. If, however, an alarm system on a motor vehicle is connected with an alarm system at a premises (other than a proprietary system) the person using such system is an alarm user.
- ANSWERING SERVICE
- A telephone answering service providing among its services the service of receiving on a continuous basis through trained employees emergency signals from alarm systems, and thereafter immediately relaying the message by live voice to the 911 dispatching center.
- AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
- An alarm system which automatically sends over regular telephone lines, by direct connection or otherwise, a prerecorded voice message or coded signal indicating the existence of the emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect.
- 1. The activation of an alarm system to which the Fredericktown Police Department or Fire Department is summoned to respond when no actual burglary, robbery, fire or other emergency exists. A false alarm shall also mean an emergency alarm which is actuated by inadvertence, negligence, mistake, equipment malfunction, error or any other unintentional act. Intentionally activating an alarm for any purpose other than to summon emergency assistance will be considered a false alarm.
- 2. The following shall not be considered false alarms:
- a. Alarms caused by the testing or repair of telephone equipment or lines by telephone company employees.
- b. Alarms caused by electrical power outages.
- c. Alarms caused by an act of God, such as adverse weather conditions, earthquakes, floods, windstorms, thunder or lightening.
- d. Alarms caused by an attempted illegal entry of which there is physical or other evidence.
- e. Alarms intentionally caused by the resident acting under a sincere belief that a need exists to call the Police Department or other public safety agency.
- f. Vandalism resulting in physical damage to the premises.
- g. Alarms promptly followed by a call to the 911 dispatching center using established procedure, canceling the alarm prior to the arrival of the Police Department or other public safety agency.
- LOCAL ALARM SYSTEM
- A signaling system which when activated causes an audible and/or visual signaling device to be activated in or on the premises within which the system is installed.
- PROPRIETARY SYSTEM
- An alarm system sounding and/or recording supervisor signals to a control center being under the supervision of the proprietor of the premises. If a proprietary system includes a signal line connected directly or by means of an automatic dialing device to a central alarm station or answering service, it thereby becomes an alarm system as defined in this Section.
[Ord. No. 16-15 § 215.030, 4-26-2016]
No person(s), firm, corporation or governmental entity, either as principal officer, agent, servant or employee, shall possess or operate an alarm system after the effective date of this Chapter which is designed to elicit, either directly or indirectly, a response by Police and/or Fire personnel without first registering such system with City Hall. Such registration shall be renewable annually for each successive permit/license year such system is possessed or operated; provided, however, a permit shall not be required to operate local alarm systems affixed to motor vehicles.
No fee shall be charged for the annual registration.
All persons using an alarm system installed prior to the effective date of this Chapter shall register with City Hall not later than thirty (30) days after the effective date of this Chapter authorizing the continued use of the alarm system.
No registrations shall be issued for a new installation until work required by the Building Code required by the City has been completed and final inspections have been made and the work approved by the City Building Inspector.
The owners, lessees and occupants of each building or portion of a building protected by an alarm system shall provide the following information to the City:
The address and telephone number of the building in which the alarm is installed.
The name, address and telephone number of the property owner, lessee and any other person who controls access to the premises.
For premises other than private residences installing police or fire alarms, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of three (3) responsible persons having access to the property who can respond to the location of an alarm within thirty (30) minutes after notice to assist the responding agencies.
For private residences, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of two (2) responsible persons having access to the property who can respond to the location of an alarm within thirty (30) minutes after notice to assist the responding agencies.
Date the alarm system was installed.
Description of the alarm system, including whether it is equipped to cease emitting an audible alarm sound within fifteen (15) minutes of activation for property located within an area zoned residential and within thirty (30) minutes of activation for property located within all other areas not zoned residential and not within five hundred (500) feet of an area zoned residential.
Any other information required by the Police or Fire Department to facilitate compliance with this Chapter.
When the possession of the premises at which an alarm system is maintained is transferred, the person(s) obtaining possession of the property shall file an application for an alarm registration within thirty (30) days of obtaining possession of the property.
Alarm user registration applications shall be confidential and shall be inaccessible to the general public and all persons other than the alarm user, the courts, law enforcement agencies and persons authorized with the administration and enforcement of this Chapter.
An alarm user which is a governmental political unit shall not be subject to the imposition of any assessment as provided herein, but they must register.
It is in the best interest of safety and efficient service for the alarmed premises to provide address numbers which are clearly visible from a distance of one hundred (100) feet or more (see International Property Maintenance Code, adopted by Code Section 500.010, Street Address Numbers Required). The address numbers shall be posted to the left, right or overhead to the main entrance of the building, structure or facility, and if such building, structure or facility is on a corner lot, address numbers shall face the street named in the official address as designated by the United States Postal Service.
[Ord. No. 16-15 § 215.040, 4-26-2016]
All emergency alarm systems equipped with any exterior sound-producing device including, but not limited to, gongs, buzzers, sirens, bells or horns shall be equipped with a time device which limits the operation of such exterior sound-producing device to fifteen (15) minutes, except that commercial installations shall be allowed thirty (30) minutes.
[Ord. No. 16-15 § 215.050, 4-26-2016]
Any person using an alarm system which reports or causes to report three (3) or more false fire alarms within a twelve-month period is in violation of this Chapter and is subject to an administrative fee not to exceed the following:
When the alarm business has caused an alarm activation through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, improper adjustment, negligence of a person or an alarm signal transmitted in the absence of an alarm condition, except when initiated by an act of God, it shall be considered a violation of this Chapter. The alarm user shall be responsible and the assessment shall be as indicated in this Section.
[Ord. No. 16-15 § 215.060, 4-26-2016]
An alarm user shall be notified, in writing, of each false fire alarm determination over the limit allowed in a twelve-month period under Section 235.050.
The Fire Chief, or his/her designee, shall, when requested by an alarm user, review the determination that a fire alarm was false. Such review may be done only if the alarm user requests in writing such a review within fifteen (15) days of the date of the mailing or other delivery of the notice of false fire alarm determination.
A prima facie case that a false fire alarm has occurred at a given street address shall be established by an incident report indicating that the Fire Department responded to the alarm and found no indication that a fire or fire-related emergency occurred. The alarm user shall then bear the burden of proof that the alarm was necessary or that it falls within a false alarm exception stated in Section 235.020.
[Ord. No. 16-15 § 215.070, 4-26-2016]
It shall be unlawful for an owner, lessee or person in charge of any property protected by an alarm system to fail to prevent an alarm system from generating more than three (3) false alarms in any thirty-day period or more than twelve (12) false alarms in any three-hundred-sixty-five-day period. Each false alarm in excess of three (3) in any thirty-day period shall be deemed a separate offense. Automatic teller machines located on bank premises shall be considered along with the bank to be one (1) location.
[Ord. No. 16-15 § 215.080, 4-26-2016]