[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Rochester 6-6-1995 as Ch. 33 of the 1995 Code; amended 6-6-2006. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Fires and fire safety — See Ch. 75.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards for operation and regulations applicable to emergency fire alarm systems, burglar alarm systems, alarm businesses and alarm users.
Within 60 days after the effective date of this chapter, every alarm user shall obtain an alarm user permit for each alarm system he/she operates within the City of Rochester. This permit shall be obtained through the Communications Center which is located in the Police Department.
The alarm user applying for the permit required in § 16-2 of this chapter shall state on the permit application prescribed by the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department his/her name, the address of the residence or business or businesses where the alarm system has been installed, his/her telephone number, and at least two persons who can be reached any time day or night and who are authorized to respond to an alarm signal and who can open the premises in which the system is installed.
Any false statement or misrepresentation of a material fact made by an applicant for the purpose of obtaining a user's permit or renewal, or while making a change thereto, shall be sufficient cause for refusal to grant or revocation of a permit.
Fee. There will be a permit fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.) for the installation of a new alarm system. For each year after the initial installation, the renewal fee shall be ten dollars ($10.). All permits shall be renewed each year by April 1. Any renewal fee not paid within 30 days of April 1 shall be subject to a late fee of ten dollars ($10.) in addition to the renewal fee.
Fee exceptions. If a residential alarm user is over 65 years of age and is the primary resident of the dwelling and if no business is conducted in the residence, a user's permit may be obtained without the payment of a fee. Federal, state, county or local government agencies that operate an alarm system shall be exempt from payment of a fee.
The information contained in the alarm user permit application required by § 16-3 and other information received by the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department, through correspondence or communications with the alarm user, shall be securely maintained and restricted to inspection by the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department or certain police or fire officers, or City employees specifically assigned the responsibility for handling and processing alarm user permits in the course of their duties. If one of those persons is found to have purposely or knowingly revealed the information contained in an alarm user permit application or in correspondence or communications with an alarm user to any person for any purpose not related to this chapter or official law enforcement matters, or without the express written consent of the alarm user supplying such information, he/she shall be guilty of a violation.
Any alarm system user who operates or permits to be operated any alarm system without first obtaining a permit as required by this chapter, or who operates or permits to be operated an alarm system when such permit has expired, shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.).
Any alarm system user who, after having a permit revoked or suspended and after exhausting his/her right to a hearing, fails to disconnect his/her alarm system, or reconnects his/her system prior to the restoration of his/her permit, shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.).
For the purpose of this chapter, a false alarm shall be defined as an alarm signal eliciting a response by police or fire personnel when a situation requiring a response by police or fire personnel does not exist, but does not include an alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature.
Any case where a false alarm is received in excess of six alarms in any calendar year from an alarm system for which an alarm user permit has been obtained, a service charge of one hundred dollars ($100.) shall be levied.
If the false alarm is due to an alarm system malfunction that is in the process of being repaired or where immediate steps are taken to identify or correct the problem and notification has been made to the dispatch center as applicable, the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department may waive the civil assessment. Refusal to pay the civil assessment within 30 days of the assessment shall be punishable as a violation and may be cause for revocation of the alarm user's permit.
If the Police Department, in the case of a burglar alarm, or the Fire Department, in the case of a fire alarm, has recorded false alarms in excess of limits stated in § 16-8, the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department shall notify the permit holder in writing and request the permit holder to submit a report within 15 days describing efforts to discover and eliminate the cause(s) of the false alarms. If the alarm user reasonably requests an extension of time to file said report based upon some extraordinary circumstances, the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department may extend the 15 days for a reasonable time. If the permit holder fails to submit his/her report within the specified period, the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department shall notify the alarm user that his/her permit to operate an alarm system has been revoked, and under such circumstances the user shall not be entitled to a hearing as hereinafter provided.
If the alarm user submits a report as required by Subsection A of this section but the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department finds the report unsatisfactory, then the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department may issue a written notice of his/her intent to revoke the alarm user's permit.
If after submission of a report required by Subsection A of this section which is satisfactory to the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department the alarm system of the permit holder incurs two or more false alarms during the same calendar year, the Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department may issue a written notice of his/her intent to revoke the alarm user's permit.
Upon receipt of a notice of intent to revoke an alarm user's permit, the permit holder may, within 10 days of such receipt, submit a written request for a hearing before the Licensing Board setting forth the reasons that his/her permit should not be revoked. Written notice of the time, date and place of the hearing shall be served to the permit holder at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing.
At the hearing before the Licensing Board, the holder of the permit or his/her authorized representative shall have the right to be made aware of the circumstances leading to revocation of the alarm permit and to present evidence on his/her own behalf. After the hearing, the Licensing Board may either issue an order of revocation, withdraw the notice of revocation or allow a reasonable time, not to exceed 15 days, in which the alarm user must take action to eliminate the cause(s) of the false alarms.
An alarm user whose permit has been revoked may apply for a revoked user permit as provided in § 16-9 of this chapter. The Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department shall not be required to issue a revoked user permit unless he/she is satisfied that the user's system has been properly serviced and its deficiencies corrected. The Chief of the Police Department or Fire Department may also impose reasonable restrictions and/or conditions that shall appear on the permit and shall provide for automatic revocation on the occurrence of four false alarms in the remaining permit year.
In situations where a user permit is revoked under the conditions in Subsection A of this section, there shall be no appeal to the Licensing Board and said revocation shall remain in effect for the remainder of the calendar year.
The fee for reissuance of a user permit shall be seventy-five dollars ($75.).
Unless otherwise provided, any person, firm or corporation within the boundaries of the City of Rochester who or which violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.). Each day during which a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.
The provisions of this chapter shall take effect upon its passage.