[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Caln 9-27-1979 by Ord. No. 1979-11. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any assembly of equipment, mechanical or electrical, arranged to signal the occurrence of any emergency requiring the response of emergency personnel and to which they are expected to respond.
- ALARM USER
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind, as well as the partners, officers, managers, trustees and directors of any of the foregoing, in control of any building, structure or facility within which an alarm system is maintained.
- EMERGENCY PERSONNEL
- Any Township employee, state police officer, police officer of Caln Township, police officer of any other local municipality, special police, fire police, personnel of a volunteer fire company, whether or not compensated, ambulance drivers and medical personnel and any other persons, be they Township, municipal or governmental employees or volunteers or paid personnel associated with volunteer groups which respond to emergencies.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm signal from an alarm system soliciting a response by emergency personnel when a situation requiring such response does not, in fact, exist.
The Board of Commissioners of Caln Township has declared and does hereby declare that a false alarm, as hereinbefore described, from the misuse or malfunction of automatic protection devices, is a public nuisance.
It shall be a violation of this chapter:
For any alarm user to cause or permit a false alarm to occur upon any premises owned or controlled by such alarm user.
For any alarm system to be installed directly into police, fire or other emergency lines or departments without first passing through a filtering or monitoring station.
To install or maintain any alarm system of a type or brand or manufacturer declared by the Board of Commissioners, pursuant to § 52-7 hereof, to be unsatisfactory.
To sell, offer for sale, install, lease or continue to lease to any alarm user or prospective alarm user within Caln Township an alarm system of the type, brand or manufacturer after the same has been declared by the Board of Commissioners to be an unsatisfactory type, brand or manufacturer under the provisions of § 52-7 hereof.
If, at the time of arrival of emergency personnel or while they are upon the premises in response to a call requested by an alarm system, it shall become apparent upon investigation that there does not then exist a condition upon the premises for which such response by emergency personnel would be required and there are no signs upon the premises such as signs of forcible entry or attempt thereof or signs of fire or other such cause, which are the types of emergencies or conditions for which the alarm system is designed to call for such assistance, then and in such event there shall be a presumption that the alarm was a false alarm, and the burden shall be upon the alarm user to prove that the alarm was not a false alarm, as herein defined.
[Amended 4-30-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-2; 12-18-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-10]
Any alarm user who shall violate any provisions of this chapter shall, upon summary conviction before any issuing authority having jurisdiction thereof, be punished by a fine of no less than $25 plus costs of prosecution for violation; provided, however, that the first false alarm within a twelve-month period shall not be deemed a violation nor subject such user to such fine or prosecution. Beginning with the fourth false alarm (within a twelve-month period), any alarm user who shall violate any provisions of this chapter shall, upon summary conviction before any issuing authority having jurisdiction thereof, be punished by a fine of no less than $50 plus costs of prosecution for violation. Each false alarm shall constitute a separate offense which shall be punishable as herein described. Any violator, upon notification of same by the Township and in the manner prescribed by law, may pay a fine of $25 or $50 per violation providing same is paid within seven days of such notification. Failure to pay the aforesaid fine within the aforesaid seven days shall result in the summary proceedings as set forth above. In determining the number of prior offenses, only those within the immediately preceding 12 months or subsequent to the date of this chapter, whichever is the shorter period, shall be included in such computation.
In addition to the penalties provided in § 52-5 hereof, such user shall be liable in a civil proceeding for the cost to the Township or other local municipality or volunteer agency of answering the false alarm.
Whenever any emergency personnel respond to a false alarm, they shall record the type, model, brand and manufacturer of the alarm system and shall also record a full report of the circumstances and findings concerning the false alarm, the response thereto and the cost thereof if determinable. Upon the occurrence within the Township of five false alarms from the same type, model, brand or manufacturer of an alarm system within a period of 12 succeeding months, they shall report the same to the Township Manager, who shall thereupon notify the manufacturer or distributor thereof that in the event of two more such occurrences the Board of Commissioners of Caln Township may declare the type, brand, model or manufacturer to be unsatisfactory. Upon the occurrence of two more such incidents, the same shall be reported to the Township Manager, who shall transmit such report to the Board of Commissioners, together with all reports incident thereto. The Board of Commissioners may thereupon at a public meeting declare such model, type, brand or manufacturer to be unsatisfactory, whereupon all users, distributors and the manufacturer shall be so notified and that alarm system shall thereupon be removed from the premises of all alarm users within the Township. Any person aggrieved by the declaration of the Commissioners that such model, brand, type or manufacturer is unsatisfactory may appeal within 30 days of such declaration to the Board of Administrative Appeals of Caln Township, which shall hear and determine such appeal under the Local Agency Law.