[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Wilton 10-5-1998; amended 12-21-1998; 6-17-2002; 1-22-2013. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this ordinance is to promote the responsible use of alarm systems in Wilton and to reduce the number of false alarms. A reduction in false alarms and the related responses by emergency vehicles will improve the general public safety on the highways, reduce wear and tear on equipment, improve the morale of emergency personnel, encourage greater response by volunteers and improve the overall efficiency of the Fire and Police Departments and the Ambulance Corps.
As used in this ordinance, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM ADMINISTRATOR
- A person or persons designated by the Chief Financial Officer who shall administer, control and enforce the terms and provisions of this ordinance.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment and devices or a single device designed to signal the presence of a hazard or emergency requiring urgent attention and to which the Fire or Police Departments or EMS personnel are expected to respond. Excluded from this definition and the scope of this ordinance are:
- ALARM USER
- Any person, firm, corporation or other entity owning a premises in which an alarm system is installed, regardless if it is active or inactive.
- AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE DIALING ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system which automatically sends a prerecorded voice message or coded signal over regular telephone lines.
- CENTRAL STATION
- A firm, corporation or other entity responsible for receiving alarm signals from remote locations, monitoring those signals and relaying alarm information to the Fire or Police Departments or EMS headquarters.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system to which the Fire or Police Department or EMS personnel respond and which is not caused by a criminal act, smoke, fire or other hazard or emergency. Excluded from this definition is any activation resulting from a verified malfunction of telephone equipment, power outage, lightning strike, extreme weather condition or cataclysmic event. An alarm response which is canceled by the central station or by the alarm user prior to the time fire, police or EMS personnel reaches the alarmed premises shall not be considered a false alarm.
- FISCAL YEAR
- The twelve-month period beginning May 1 of any year and ending April 30 of the following year.
Every alarm user shall register an alarm with the Wilton Tax Office one time. Alarm systems registered with the Wilton Tax Office as of the effective date of this ordinance shall be recognized as being registered in compliance with this ordinance.
Any alarm system installed after the effective date of this ordinance shall be registered with the Town of Wilton Tax Office by the alarm user within 45 days following installation.
Whenever property is transferred, the new owner must register an existing alarm system within 45 days of the property transfer.
Registration shall be accomplished by filling out a form provided by the Wilton Tax Office Alarm Administrator. Such registration shall set forth the name, address and telephone number of the alarm user, the contacts in case of an alarm, the alarm installer, the central station monitoring the alarm system and the alarm servicing company, as well as the type of alarm system, and any additional information that may be requested by the Alarm Administrator.
It shall be the responsibility of each alarm user to notify the Town of Wilton Tax Office of changes in the registration information including activation/deactivation of the system.
Automatic telephone dialing alarm systems that send messages directly to the communications center of the Fire or Police Departments or EMS headquarters are prohibited in the Town of Wilton.
Except as otherwise provided by law, no alarm system which produces an exterior audible sound shall be installed unless the operation of its exterior audible sound is automatically deactivated within 15 minutes.
Every alarm system installed after the effective date of this ordinance shall have its own auxiliary power system which shall be maintained in working order.
In the course of a single fiscal year, each registered alarm user shall be allowed two false alarms free of the penalties for false alarms. The penalty for any additional false alarms in same fiscal year shall be $100 for each false alarm. The Alarm Administrator shall send a citation to the alarm user for each such penalty, which penalty shall be paid within 30 days. Two or more false alarms on the same day from the same alarm user shall be considered one false alarm.
If a false alarm penalty is imposed upon an alarm user, said user may, within 30 days of receipt of notice, appeal the penalty charge by filing with the Alarm Administrator a written notice of appeal and request for hearing, setting forth the specific reason(s) the penalty should not be imposed. The filing of a request for an appeal hearing shall stay the assessment of the penalty until the hearing officer has rendered a final decision. A hearing shall be held within 20 days of receipt of the appeal and shall be conducted by a hearing officer in accordance with Section 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended. The hearing officer shall grant upon good cause shown any reasonable request by any interested party for postponement or continuance of the hearing. Hearing officers shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the First Selectman.
Any person or entity who performs or causes to be performed any of the following acts shall be subject to a fine of $50 for each such act, which fine shall be paid within 30 days of letter notice:
Failure to register an alarm system or a central station as required hereunder.
Failure of an alarm user to notify the Wilton Tax Office of changes in the registration information, as required hereunder.
Use of an exterior audible alarm system except as provided hereunder.
Use of an automatic telephone dialing alarm system.
Failure to install or maintain an auxiliary power source as required hereunder.
Failure to make timely payment of penalties or fines. This charge shall be added to the original penalty or fine.
All private and personal information in the possession of the Alarm Administrator, the hearing officers, the Fire or Police Departments or EMS personnel concerning particular alarm users and particular alarm systems shall not be divulged without the written consent of the alarm user or users concerned, except information relating to dispatch statistics and the occurrence of false alarms. This provision shall not be construed to limit access to information as provided by law.
Except as expressly provided herein, the Town of Wilton, its departments, officers, agents and employees shall be under no obligation whatsoever regarding the adequacy, operation or maintenance of any alarm system or of any alarm monitoring facility. No liability whatsoever is assumed for the failure of any such alarm system or monitoring facility or for failure to respond to alarms or for any other act or omission in connection with such alarm systems. Each alarm user shall be deemed to indemnify and hold harmless the Town of Wilton, its departments, officers, agents and employees from liability in connection with said alarm user's alarm system.
The provisions of this ordinance are designated for enforcement in accordance with Sections 7-148 and 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended. The Town of Wilton may institute civil proceedings to enforce the provisions herein contained.
The invalidity of any part or parts of this ordinance shall not affect the validity of the remaining parts.
This ordinance shall take effect on July 1, 1999.