[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Northfield 3-1-1983 by Ord. No. 2-83; amended in its entirety 5-20-2008 by Ord. No. 5-2008 (Ch. 46, Art. I, of the 1974 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Noise — See Ch. 233.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations concerning the operation and maintenance of certain alarm systems within the City of Northfield and to provide penalties for violation of any of the provisions set forth herein.
For the purposes of this chapter, certain words and phrases are defined as follows:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical, electrical or electronic device which is designed or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility or for alerting others about the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility or for alerting others about the existence of any other condition requiring response of police and which emits and/or transmits an audible and/or visual signal or message when actuated. Alarm systems include, but are not limited to, direct-dial telephone devices, audible alarms, central station alarm, visual alarms and subscriber alarms.
- Any person, firm or corporation making application to the City of Northfield for installation or connection of burglar alarm equipment to the Northfield Police Department or Northfield Fire Department or its dispatch service for the purpose of transmitting a signal or alarm from premises located within the boundaries of the City of Northfield.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- A device that emits an audible signal from the premises that it is designed to protect.
- CENTRAL STATION
- A service that monitors the operation of an alarm system and relays information to the Police Department and/or other emergency numbers when the system is activated.
- EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER
- The primary phone number advertised to the public for requesting emergency services.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm signal necessitating response by the Northfield Police Department or Northfield Fire Department where an emergency situation does not exist. An alarm that has been activated by an external source or cause that is beyond the reasonable control of the alarm system owner or operator or its agents shall not be considered false.
- The Northfield Fire Department.
- The Northfield Police Department.
- VISUAL ALARM
- A rotating or flashing light that, when activated, is intended to alert the observer that the premises on which it is affixed has been illegally entered.
It shall be the responsibility of all persons, entities, firms, corporations or other groups that maintain alarm systems within the City to provide current information to the Police Department consisting of the names and telephone numbers of responsible persons who may be contacted in case of emergency on a twenty-four-hour basis. This information is to be filed with the Police Department when the alarm system is initially placed into service, and subsequently provided to the communications center. The information must be revised immediately whenever changes are necessary. The information shall also be resubmitted annually with the required fee.
Audible alarms must be silenced within 30 minutes after a designated responsible person is notified to do so by the police, or the alarm system may be equipped with a timing device that will automatically silence the audible alarm within 30 minutes after it is activated.
Upon the activation of a burglary (break-in) alarm, there shall be a mandatory delay of at least 15 seconds before the transmission of a signal to the Police Department to enable the user to abort the signal in the event that it was triggered inadvertently. This delay shall not be applicable to a robbery (holdup) or medical emergency alarm. Any system installed on or after the effective date of this chapter must comply with Subsections A and B of this section. Preexisting installations must comply within six months of the effective date of this chapter.
The Chief of Police shall designate a member of the Northfield Police Department to keep a record of all false alarms which the Police Department is sent to investigate, as well as the call disposition. The Chief of the Northfield Fire Department shall designate a member of the Northfield Fire Department to keep a record of all false alarms which the Fire Department is sent to investigate, as well as the call disposition.
"False alarm" means any alarm activated by negligence, unintentional acts by someone other than an intruder, animals, inanimate objects, weather, as well as inadvertence or malfunction of the alarm device or related equipment except for such activation caused by a power failure or an act of God. It shall be the responsibility of all persons, entities, firms, corporations or other groups that maintain alarm systems within the City to prevent the transmission of false alarms through a program of training and periodic inspection and maintenance of the system. The maximum permissible number of false alarms from any one location shall be as follows:
False alarms in excess of these standards shall be considered to be violations of this chapter.
The user of every alarm system maintained in the City of Northfield, except those installed in motor vehicles, shall, within 10 days of the installation thereof or within 60 days of the enactment of this chapter, file the following information with the Office of the City Clerk of the City of Northfield:
The type of alarm system, including the name, address and telephone number of the security alarm server and/or central alarm control center.
The street address and the nearest cross street to the building which houses the alarm.
In the case of a commercial premises, the name, address and telephone number of an authorized representative and/or an alternative who will be able to respond when called by police to deactivate the alarm system, if necessary.
In the case of a private residence, the name, address and telephone number of a person who is not a resident of the private residence in question and who will be able to deactivate the alarm system.
Such filing requirements are applicable to all alarm systems, whether the same are or are not directly connected to the police headquarters or are merely audible alarms. Such filing must be made within the time period specified above even though there shall have been previous notification of the existence of such alarm systems to the Police Department.
Application; permit; fee.
The City Clerk is hereby authorized to grant a revocable permit to any owner, lessee or occupant of property located in the City to operate, maintain, install or modify a police alarm device, and no such device shall be operated unless such permit shall have first been issued.
The City Clerk shall charge a fee of $10 annually for the issuance of any such permit.
Any permit issued under the provisions of this chapter may be suspended or revoked by the Chief of Police for any violation of or failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated by the Chief of Police and approved by the Northfield City Council pursuant to this chapter. No permit shall be revoked or suspended without giving the permittee 15 days' notice in writing of such action and an opportunity to show cause before the Chief of Police or his designee why such action should not be taken. Any person aggrieved by the action or determination of the Chief of Police, or his designee, in the denial, suspension or revocation of any permit provided for in this chapter may appeal to the Northfield City Council within five days of receiving such notice of the denial, suspension or revocation of the permit by filing a written notice of appeal with the Northfield City Clerk. The filing of the written notice of appeal with the Northfield City Clerk shall stay any further action by the Chief of Police until such appeal has been determined by the Northfield City Council. No revocation or suspension of an alarm permit by the Chief of Police or his designee shall prevent prosecution in Municipal Court for violations of any provisions of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the general alerting alarms that may be used by fire companies, ambulance squads or emergency management agencies to summon response of their members. The provisions of the chapter shall not apply to alarm systems that are affixed to motor vehicles.
Any person, entity, firm, corporation or other group that is found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this chapter by the municipal court of the City of Northfield shall be subject to a fine as set forth in Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-15. In addition to any adjudication by the court, the Chief of Police may suspend or revoke any alarm permit held by any permittee under the authority of § 85-3H of this chapter, regarding revocation or suspension of permits, and in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, and cause any alarms for which said permit is revoked to be disconnected from the police alarm system.
The provisions contained herein shall apply equally to those alarm systems that were placed in service prior to or subsequent to the effective date of this chapter.