[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Charlestown 7-12-1982 by Ch. 131. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 91.
The purpose of this chapter is to set standards for the use of alarm systems in the Town of Charlestown, to ease the potential of a patrolman's being injured while responding to a false alarm and to lessen the burden placed upon the Police Department as a result of false alarms.
Editor's Note: For related state law, see G.L. 1956 § 5-57-1 et seq.
As used throughout this chapter, the following terms have been given the meaning therein:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment and devices or single device, such as a solid-state unit, which uses electrical energy to signal the presence of a hazard to which the police are expected to respond immediately as it requires their immediate attention. Included in the definition shall be "burglar alarm systems," "holdup alarm systems" and "manual holdup alarm systems," as they are later defined. Fire alarm systems and alarm systems which monitor temperature, humidity or any other condition which is not related directly to an unauthorized intrusion are not included in this chapter. Also excluded from this chapter are systems which are used to signal a person within the premises in which the alarm system is located. If the system employs an audible signal emitting sounds or a flashing light or beacon designed to signal a person outside the premises that there is an unauthorized intrusion or a holdup attempt, then that system shall be included with this definition of "alarm systems" and shall be subject to this chapter.
- ANSWERING SERVICE
- A telephone answering service which provides as one (1) of its services the receiving on a continuous basis, through trained employees, emergency signals from alarm systems, and the relaying of the message to the communications center of the Police Department.
- AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
- An alarm system which automatically over its regular telephone lines sends a prerecorded voice message or coded signal indicating the existence of an emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect.
- BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system which signals an entry or attempted entry into the area protected by the system.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, without an unlawful entry or through the negligence of the owner or lessee of the alarm system or his employees or agents.
- HOLDUP ALARM
- An alarm signaling a robbery or attempted robbery.
- MANUAL HOLDUP ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system whose signal transmission is initiated by the person
attacked or an observer of the action.[Amended 6-12-1989 by Ch. 171]
- POLICE CHIEF
- The Chief of the Charlestown Police Department or his designated agent.
- A person who buys, leases or otherwise obtains an alarm system and contracts or hires an alarm business to service or monitor the system.
Except for those institutions required by law, no individual shall interconnect any automatic dialing device directly to the Police Department trunk line. Such devices may be interconnected to a modified central station or an automatic answering station which notifies the Police Department, with full cost to be carried by the intermediate service. The alarm user will provide the Police Department with the names and telephone numbers of at least two (2) persons who have agreed in writing to cooperate in this program, who can be reached at any time, who are authorized to respond to an emergency signal transmitted by an automatic alarm device and who can open the premises where the alarm is installed. If any such person refuses to cooperate with the Police Department, such refusal will be considered a violation of this chapter. If either of the individuals withdraws his agreement, the alarm user will provide the Police Department with a substitute.
[Added 7-8-2002 by Ord. No. 236]
Every alarm user shall obtain an alarm user's permit for each system from the Police Chief's Office ninety (90) days after the effective date of this ordinance or prior to use of an alarm system. This paragraph excludes systems to signal persons within the premises, or alarms on motor vehicles unless connected with an alarm system at a premises (other than a proprietary system). If a system employs an audible signal emitting sounds or a flashing light or beacon designed to signal persons outside the premises, it shall be subject to this ordinance.
The alarm user applying for the permit shall use a permit application form prepared by the Police Department. Each permit shall bear the signature of the Chief of Police or his designee and shall be for a period of one (1) year. All permits shall expire on December 31 of each and every year. The permit shall be physically upon the premises using the alarm system and shall be available for inspection by the Chief of Police or his designee.
No alarm system will be demonstrated or tested to determine police response without notification first being given to the Police Dispatcher.
For the first two (2) false alarms per calendar year, there shall be no fee, but a written warning will be given to the user of the alarm system. For the third false alarm in that calendar year, the fee will be ten dollars ($10.); for the fourth, thirty dollars ($30.); for all others in that calendar year, fifty dollars ($50.) each. This fee is imposed whether the Police Department receives notification of the alarm by direct communication or through an intermediary, such as an answering service or modified central station. The fee imposed in this section is waived in the first thirty-day period following installation of a new alarm system if the Police Chief is informed of the installation of the system.
The Chief is authorized to require that any private owner or lessee of any alarm system, which is connected either directly to the Police Station or reported by an answering service or modified central station, disconnect the alarm from the station or service until the alarm is working so that it will not produce a high frequency of false alarms. The Police Chief may require disconnection if ten (10) such false alarms are received within a twelve-month period. The Chief may order that the owner or subscriber disconnect the alarm system, after having given notice to the subscriber or owner, for noncooperation or for other violation of this chapter.
No person, firm or corporation shall provide a private alarm system programmed to a central office unless it shall be manned at all times, twenty-four (24) hours a day, including holidays.
[Added 6-12-1989 by Ch. 171]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished, for each violation, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.) or by imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days. The continuation of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the violation is continued, a separate and distinct violation hereunder.