[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Palisades Park 7-30-1987 by Ord. No. 1056. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards and regulations for various types of fire and emergency alarm devices, whether by direct line, radio, telephone or other means, actuating a device at Police Headquarters of the Borough of Palisades Park and requiring a response thereto by the Fire Department, Police Department or other emergency services departments.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person, firm or corporation who operates, maintains, installs, repairs or owns any alarm device or local alarm designed to summon the Police Department to any location in response to any type of alarm signal. The terms of this chapter shall in no way prohibit alarm companies, persons, firms and/or corporations from providing service by private source to other dwellings or buildings within the Borough of Palisades Park, so long as such activity is not connected to the alarm console at Palisades Park Police Headquarters; except, however, that any person, firm or corporation having a premises protected by an alarm device shall still be responsible for the registration thereof in accordance with § 80-12 hereof. Each alarm system connected to a central station or directly to the alarm console in Police Headquarters shall be treated as a separate system, and the owner of such alarm system shall properly make application as described herein, and each alarm system shall be charged separately in accordance with this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM CONSOLE
- The console or control panel or devices giving a visual or audio response, or both, and localized within the confines of Police Headquarters of the Borough of Palisades Park.
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any type of alarm system actuating equipment in the alarm console, providing warning of fire, smoke, heat buildup, flood or other peril.
- ALARM INSTALLATION
- Any alarm device or combination of devices installed for one or more buildings at a location other than the alarm console.
- The Borough of Palisades Park, Bergen County, New Jersey, and its agents.
- CENTRAL STATION
- An office to which remote alarm and supervisory signaling devices are connected, where operators supervise the circuits and where guards are maintained continuously to investigate signals.
- CENTRAL STATION EQUIPMENT
- The signal receiving, recording or retransmitting equipment owned and maintained by the central station.
- CENTRAL STATION SYSTEM
- A system in which the operation of electrical protection circuits and devices is signaled automatically to, recorded in and maintained and supervised from a central station having trained operators and guards in attendance at all times.
- DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE
- The Chief of Police, Fire Chief or Communications Manager of the Borough of Palisades Park.
- DIAL ALARM
- That type of device using telephone lines, radio alarms or other means of transmitting to the Palisades Park Police Headquarters switchboard.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm actuated by inadvertence, negligence or the unintentional act of someone or something, and shall include, as well, alarms caused by malfunctioning of the alarm device or other relevant equipment, but shall not include alarms created by malfunction of the alarm console.
- The person obtaining the license to maintain the alarm console as hereinafter set forth.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm or device which, when actuated, produces a signal not connected to the alarm console or a central station, such as an actuating bell device or any other type of audible or visual identification.
- Any person owning, operating and/or maintaining an alarm device or a local alarm within the scope of this chapter.
- Includes any natural person, partnership, corporation or association.
There is established an alarm console license, which shall be granted as set forth in § 80-11 of this chapter. Any such licensee shall have exclusive use and control of the alarm console, except for use by the Police Department of the borough, and such licensee will be responsible, at no cost to the borough, for the establishment, construction, installation, maintenance and management thereafter of said console containing equipment and being of a design recommended or approved by the Police Department and for the care, maintenance and management thereafter of said console. Said licensee shall locate said console and relocate said console if necessary under the supervision of the designated representative at no cost to the borough.
For any such license granted hereunder, the licensee will assume all liability and agree to indemnify and save harmless the borough and its agents and public officials and the Police Department and its officers and members for any acts in conjunction with the operation of said alarm console. The licensee shall furnish annually to the Borough Clerk a noncancelable insurance certificate indicating complete liability coverage in an amount not less than $300,000 for each person, $500,000 for each accident and $1,000,000 for property damage for each accident.
Any connection to the alarm console shall be of a type inspected and approved by the designated representative, and any person aggrieved by said decision may appeal said decision in writing, within 10 days, to the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Palisades Park, who shall resolve the appeal within a reasonable time, after hearing. The decision of the Mayor and Council shall be final.
The licensee shall install initially an annunciator and/or display console having no less than one-thousand-subscriber capability, available for present systems and future connections, which console shall be approved by the Underwriters' Laboratories. The licensee should be Underwriters' Laboratories listed. Such installation described above shall be at no cost to the borough.
The licensee for the alarm console shall be permitted to charge subscribers an installation fee and a monthly retainer or maintenance fee. No fee shall be charged to the Borough of Palisades Park or any of its subsidiaries for monthly charges or console connection charges for any existing or future systems in public buildings owned and/or operated by the borough or its agents or subsidiaries.
Except as provided in § 80-13 of this chapter, any license issued hereunder shall be for a term of five years from January 1 following the adoption of this chapter. Such licensee shall post with the Borough Clerk a performance bond in the amount of $10,000, noncancelable without notification to the borough, guaranteeing performance for the full term of the license and insuring the maintenance of said console and alarm system during said period when such license is in force.
The successful licensee shall, within 30 days of the award of bids as prescribed in § 80-11, fully install the alarm console in Police Headquarters and provide for the orderly and uninterrupted transfer of existing alarm connections to the new console.
No central station retransmitting equipment or equipment owned by anyone except the alarm console licensee or the borough shall be installed or permitted in Police Headquarters. Any retransmission of alarm signals to Police Headquarters must be made in one of two ways:
Any expense for expansion of the borough's switchboard to accommodate these lines and their connection shall be borne by the permittee. The method of connection shall be approved by the Chief of Police and Communications Manager. Any alarm connected to existing alarm receiving equipment in Police Headquarters at the time of the award of the bid to an alarm console licensee under §§ 80-4 through 80-11 shall be disconnected entirely or reconnected to the new licensee's console within 30 days of the award of said bid. Arrangements for these connections rest solely with the console licensee and applicant permittees.
All such existing equipment owned or operated by any permittee or licensee or his agent must be removed from Police Headquarters at that time. In the event that these connections are not transferred or removed within the time period indicated above, the Chief of Police shall notify the owner of the premises where the alarm originates from and/or permittee that he is in violation of this chapter. If the owner or permittee then does not comply with this provision within seven days thereafter, the Chief shall order the disconnection and/or removal of said equipment at the permittee's expense.
The borough shall assume no liability whatsoever in the administration of this chapter with respect to disconnection of alarm systems in violation thereof.
Prequalified persons desiring to bid for said license shall make application to the Borough Clerk, which application shall disclose whatever information may be required by the borough concerning the ability of the proposed applicant to comply with the requirements of this chapter and shall indicate, in any event, that said licensee has satisfactory financial and personal references indicating his, hers or its ability to comply with the terms of this chapter and that said licensee has an office with adequate personnel available on a twenty-four-hour basis to service said equipment; such office shall be located within 10 miles of the center of the Borough of Palisades Park.
The governing body shall designate the time and place for receiving sealed bids as set forth above, which bids shall indicate the bond and other requirements of this chapter and the minimum installation and monthly charges. Upon the return of the sealed bids, the governing body may award said license to the person whose bid, taken as a whole, is the most advantageous to the subscribers to the system from a cost standpoint, and in conjunction therewith the governing body reserves the right to reject any and all bids.
Renewals of said license or award of a new license should any license be terminated in accordance with sections of this chapter, shall be accomplished by following the procedures outlined herein.
Any person who desires to install an alarm device or local alarm within the Borough of Palisades Park or who currently owns, operates or maintains an alarm device or a local alarm shall make application for a permit to install or continue said alarm, in writing, to the designated representative of the borough. The application shall be in such form as the designated representative shall prescribe and shall set forth all information required by the designated representative to enable him to carry out effectively his public safety responsibilities, but shall contain at least the location of the device, the name of the installer of said device, the type of device, provisions relating to false alarms and testing procedures, a list of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm and other information as may be required by the designated representative of the borough.
The subscriber or central station or installer of each alarm system shall register each alarm system with the Borough of Palisades Park Police Department. A registration fee of $25 shall accompany each application submitted, payable to the Borough of Palisades Park, except that no registration fee shall be charged to any owner of an alarm currently in existence at the time of the adoption of this chapter, if such registration takes place within 90 days of said adoption. Any permit granted hereunder shall be granted upon the express condition that the permittee shall indemnify and hold the Borough harmless from and on account of any and all damages arising out of the activities of the permittee, its alarm contractor or the alarm console licensee, of the Borough.
[Amended 2-15-2011 by Ord. No. 1567]
Every permittee shall, by acceptance of the permit, be deemed as having consented to the inspection of the alarm system at reasonable hours by the designated representative and shall accept the responsibility for the proper operation of the alarm system up to and including the line connection, if any, to Police Headquarters.
Any persons installing or maintaining unauthorized equipment shall be prosecuted for violation of this chapter, and each and every day that the equipment is in operation shall be considered a separate violation.
Any licensee and/or permittee for an alarm shall provide for a representative to be on call for emergency repair service. In each case wherein the alarm is connected directly to Police Headquarters, the service shall be provided within eight hours of notification by the Police Department of any malfunction of any equipment.
Any person who currently has an alarm device in existence at the time of the passage of this chapter shall have 60 days from the effective date of this chapter to register said alarm and, where applicable, pay the appropriate fee.
The borough shall be under no obligation to any permittee, subscriber, licensee or alarm console licensee hereunder, the alarm console and allied equipment being maintained at will and subject to termination at any time by cancellation of the system by resolution duly adopted by the governing body of the Borough of Palisades Park, and any individual permit issued hereunder may be revoked at any time by the recommendation of the Chief of the Police Department, provided that 30 days' notice is given in writing to said permittee by certified mail.
Any licensee for the alarm console and any permittee utilizing the services of any other alarm company connected to said console shall provide for a representative to be on call at all times and such service shall be provided immediately when necessary after notification by the Police Department of any malfunctions of any equipment. No permittee utilizing the services of any other alarm company shall be denied access to the alarm console because of the use of another alarm company, and he shall not be discriminated against respecting any fees charged by the licensee.
In the case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Police Department in a manner to be prescribed by rules and regulations in accordance with this chapter. In addition, in the case of a false alarm, the Chief of the Police Department shall cause an investigation to be made and keep a record of said alarms on file. For such false alarms, the governing body prescribes the following penalties:
Where the investigation by the Department discloses continued abuse of the privilege of connection to the alarm console and/or a disregard of the permittee for taking remedial steps to avoid false alarms and/or the failure of the permittee to pay any administrative charge, the Chief of Police reserves the right to require disconnection from the alarm console for a limited or permanent time or require the disconnection of any dial alarm device, provided that no such permit shall be revoked or suspended without giving the permittee the opportunity to show cause before the Police Chief why such action should not be taken. An alarm owner shall not be charged with a false alarm, provided that such owner makes immediate proper notification in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Chief of the Police Department.
Any unauthorized equipment may be disconnected by the Chief of the Police Department or his designated representative for noncompliance with this chapter, and any person installing or maintaining unauthorized equipment shall be prosecuted for violation of this chapter. Each and every day said equipment is in operation shall be considered a separate violation. Any permittee shall, by acceptance of the permit, be deemed as having consented to inspection of the premises on which said alarm devices are installed at reasonable hours by the Chief of the Police Department or his designated representative.
Any person testing an alarm system covered by the provisions of this chapter shall notify Police Headquarters immediately prior to and after the testing is completed. Failure to do so shall constitute a violation herein and subject an alarm owner or maintainer to such penalties as set forth in this chapter.
[Amended 9-15-1987 by Ord. No. 1058]
If any dial alarm device is in existence at the time of the effective date of this section, it shall, within 90 days of the adoption of this section, be programmed to dial a special telephone number issued by the Palisades Park Police Department. This number will be provided by said Police Department to permittees making application thereto in accordance with § 80-12 of this chapter.
If any dial alarm hereafter shall be found to be dialing the Police Department's switchboard, the Chief of the Police Department shall send the person in whose name the telephone is listed a written notice requiring compliance with this chapter. If the occupant or telephone subscriber fails to comply within 60 days after service of such notice, said failure shall constitute a violation of this chapter, and the person shall be liable to the penalties set forth in this chapter. Each and every day for which this notice has not been complied with shall constitute a separate offense.
Whenever, under the provisions of this chapter, the designated representative is empowered to make a decision with respect to the installation, operation and maintenance of any alarm equipment or with respect to the issuance or denial of any application relating thereto or in the imposition of any administrative charge, any person aggrieved by said decision may, within 10 days following said decision, file a written appeal therefrom with the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Palisades Park, who shall conduct a hearing and affirm, modify or reverse the decision appealed from. The decision of the Mayor and Council shall be final.
[Amended 8-15-1995 by Ord. No. 1226]
Any person, firm or corporation found guilty by the Judge of the Municipal Court of the Borough of Palisades Park for violation of the terms of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties provided in § 1-15 of the Code of the Borough of Palisades Park.
Testing of any alarm system must be conducted between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Before a test of any alarm, the Police Department dispatcher must be notified that the alarm will be activated. Verification of receipt of the signal will be given when a second call is made to notify the Department that the testing is completed.
Local alarms should be tested by owners during the same hours, and owners should allow audible signals to sound for only a short period of time. Every alarm equipped with a local audible signal must also be equipped with a relay or device to limit the operation of such audible device to 15 minutes or less.
A false alarm shall mean an activation of the alarm, by inadvertence, negligence, malfunctioning of the alarm device or related equipment or an unintentional act of someone, other than a signal that was actuated due to the purpose of the alarm system.
No false alarm shall occur when an alarm owner makes a telephone call indicating a test in progress and such signal is misinterpreted by police dispatchers. For the first, second and third false alarms, no fee will be assessed, but property owners shall be notified by the Chief of the Police Department or designated representative.
For the fourth, fifth and sixth false alarms, an administrative charge of $50 shall be charged to the owner of such alarm system.
For all subsequent false alarms, an administrative charge of $100 shall be charged to the owner of such alarm system.
The governing body reserves the right to revoke any issued permit when the permittee continues to operate any alarm system that continues to generate false alarms.
[Amended 2-15-2011 by Ord. No. 1567]
An annual administrative charge of $10 shall be charged to each owner of an alarm system prorated for the first year during which the application shall take effect.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Borough of Palisades Park Police Department.