[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Washington 10-2-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-13. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Washington Township Alarm System Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards and regulations concerning the installation, operation and maintenance of certain alarm systems within the Township of Washington and to reduce or eliminate false alarms.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any device employed to call attention to, or provide warning of, fire or emergency management services whether the same provides a visual or audio response, alarm or warning. The term "alarm system" shall not include:
- A. Concealed battery or electrically powered smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector units located within single-family residences which give out an audible signal;
- B. Automobile alarm systems;
- C. An alarm designed to alert only the inhabitants of a premises that does not have a sounding device which can be heard on the exterior of the alarm site.
- CENTRAL ALARM STATION
- An alarm station that transmits the alarm to an alarm processing center which then calls to dispatch the Fire Department or EMS.
- DIAL ALARM
- An alarm device, using telephone or other lines, which transmits an alarm signal to the fire or emergency squad.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm or signal activated or transmitted by inadvertent, negligent, unintentional or intentional act or omission of a person (caused or transmitted other than by an intruder) and shall also include alarms caused by malfunctioning of the alarm device or other related equipment. False alarms shall not include:
- A. Activation caused by power or phone line interruptions when such interruptions have been reported to the New Jersey State Police;
- B. An alarm which is canceled by the owner registrant, or agent, prior to the time the responding fire or emergency squad is dispatched to the alarm site; and
- C. When the responding investigator finds evidence of criminal offense or attempted criminal offense, or calamity such as fire by natural elements.
- Any natural person, partnership, corporation, association or other entity.
- Any person who owns, operates or leases an alarm system within the scope of this chapter, who has been issued a registration permit to operate and maintain such alarm system.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person who owns, operates, leases, or maintains any type of alarm or alarm system or maintains a central alarm station as defined in § 107-3. The provisions of this chapter shall in no way prohibit service by a private source to persons within or without the Township, so long as such persons operating, leasing or maintaining a premises protected by an alarm system shall be responsible for the registration in accordance with this chapter.
Registration shall be required for each home or business within the Township utilizing any type of alarm or alarm system as defined in § 107-3 on or after the effective date of this chapter. Users of systems in place on that date shall complete the required registration form within 60 days after this chapter is adopted.
A registration shall automatically terminate upon a change of occupancy of the registered premises. No more than one registration shall be required per home or business at any single location. Information provided to the Township must be kept current, and the registrant must notify the Township Clerk, in writing, of any changes of information listed in the registration application no later than 30 days following the applicable change(s).
Registration form. Person(s) required to register their alarm devices shall complete and file with the Municipal Clerk a registration application which may be obtained from the Municipal Clerk's office. A copy of each registration form shall be filed with the Township Clerk, who shall keep the records confidential and not open to public inspection. The registrant shall provide the following information:
The full name and address of the registrant, including a complete physical address and property description which will permit the appropriate response to the alarm.
Name and address and telephone number of the person installing, maintaining and/or owning the system.
The name and address of the person(s) responsible for monitoring and initially responding to an activation of an alarm device and a phone number for such entity and/or person(s).
The name, address and telephone number of the person who may be contacted in the event of an alarm, and at least one person who is authorized to receive notification of an alarm call and who is authorized to enter upon the premises in which the alarm system is located.
A registration fee of $10 shall be submitted with each registration form. Registration shall be submitted within 30 days of system installation. A separate registration shall be required for each residential or business alarm system as well as a registration of the central alarm system. Failure to register shall result in a fine not to exceed $50, provided the system is registered within 30 days of imposition of the fine. After that period, each additional month is a separate violation.
It shall be unlawful for any registered person to cause, allow or activate a false alarm as defined in this chapter. In case of a false alarm, any person and any registrant who violates this section shall each be subject to the provisions of § 107-11. In case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge of the false alarm shall immediately notify the New Jersey State Police. The New Jersey State Police shall be responsible for enforcing this section.
Alarm devices having an audible alarm installed out-of-doors shall be designed to limit the operation of a bell or sound-producing instrument to a maximum of 20 minutes after the activation. If the duration of an outside audible alarm exceeds 20 minutes, the warnings and penalties provided by § 107-11 of this chapter shall apply as though a false alarm has been activated.
The Township of Washington is under, and assumes, no duty or obligation to any permittee or other persons by reasons of issuance or failure to issue any registration permit.
The Township Committee may from time to time promulgate rules and regulations supplementing this chapter in order to provide for record keeping and efficient management of the system.
Any person, firm, corporation or other entity who violates the terms of this chapter, other than to failure to initially register or providing false registration information, shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $250; provided, however, that the following minimum and mandatory fines shall apply to false alarms.
For the first two false alarms in any twelve-month period, a warning shall be issued.
For the third false alarm within the twelve-month period, a fine of $250 shall be paid to the Township of Washington.
For the fourth and subsequent false alarms in any twelve-month period, a fine not to exceed $250 for each occurrence shall be paid to the Township of Washington and shall be accompanied by an advisory letter (dated within 30 days following the date on which the complaint is issued) from an alarm company stating the system has been inspected and is operating properly. Failure to provide such advisory letter will constitute a separate offense, subject to a penalty not to exceed $250.
In the event that it is determined that the registrant has failed to take reasonable steps to avoid false alarms, the Township shall have the right to require the alarm to be disconnected for either a limited amount of time or permanently. However, no such disconnection and revocation of the permit shall take place without providing the registrant an opportunity to show cause before the Municipal Court why such action should not be taken. The occurrence of three or more false alarms in any calendar month shall raise the presumption that the registrant is disregarding the responsibility to take reasonable remedial steps to avoid false alarms. In the event the registrant's alarm is disconnected as the result of an action under this section of this chapter, and in the event the registrant is allowed to reconnect the equipment in the future, the registrant shall be responsible for a re-registration fee of $50.