[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Plainsboro 7-31-1981 by Ord. No. 0-81-18; amended in its entirety 7-12-2006 by Ord. No. 0-06-18. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Department of Public Safety — See Ch. 14.
Public Safety Director — See Ch. 28.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 64.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards and regulations for the use of privately installed burglary, robbery, medical and fire alarm systems, to require registration, to establish fees and fines and to create an administrative apparatus.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment and devices arranged to signal a monitoring company of the presence of a hazard or medical emergency requiring urgent attention and to which police, fire fighters and/or emergency medical personnel are expected to respond. "Alarm system" does not include an alarm installed in a vehicle or on someone's person unless the vehicle or the personal alarm is permanently located at a site. In this chapter, the term "alarm system" shall include but not be limited to:
- The process where response to a burglar alarm is terminated when a monitoring company (designated by the alarm user) for the alarm site notifies our Communications Center there is not an existing situation at the alarm site requiring law enforcement response after an alarm dispatch request.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm signal, eliciting a response by police, fire fighters, and/or emergency medical personnel when a situation requiring a response by the police, fire fighters, and/or emergency medical personnel does not in fact exist, but does not include an alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm user.
- The process by which a monitoring company receives signals for an alarm system and relays an alarm dispatch request to the municipality for the purpose of summoning police, fire, and/or emergency medical services.
- MONITORING COMPANY
- The person in the business of providing monitoring services.
- An attempt by the monitoring company or its representative to contact the alarm site and/or the alarm user by telephone and/or other electronic means, whether or not actual contact with a person is made, to determine whether a burglar alarm signal is valid before requesting law enforcement dispatch, in an attempt to avoid an unnecessary alarm dispatch request. For the purpose of this chapter, telephone verification shall require, at a minimum, that a second call be made to a different number if the first attempt fails to reach an alarm user who can properly identify themselves to determine whether an alarm signal is valid before requesting law enforcement dispatch.
An initial registration shall be required for each alarm system within the Township of Plainsboro.
Any person desiring the issuance of a registration shall file with the Director of Public Safety a written application, on a form to be provided.
A registration fee of $10 for each dwelling unit and $25 for all other applicants shall be paid by the applicant. If two separate systems or a single system with two separate functions is involved, then separate fees shall be required for each such system or function; but in no instance shall this permit fee exceed $50. In cases where a new homeowner or business assumes control of a system in place at the time of acquisition or possession of the property a new registration is required in accordance with the provisions above.
No alarm user shall operate, or cause to be operated, an alarm system at its alarm site without a valid alarm registration. A separate alarm registration is required for each alarm system.
Every burglar alarm must be provided with a device which will automatically reset or shut off the alarm after 15 minutes from the time of activation.
Every burglar alarm system in a private dwelling shall be equipped with a time delay of at least 20 seconds in the event that the system shall be accidentally activated.
Every nonresidential fire alarm system shall not be silenced, reset or shut off, until a member of the Fire Department or Fire Official arrives on the scene and determines the specific location of the alarm in the building, and authorizes the silencing or resetting of the system.
Every alarm user shall provide a signed certification stating the following:
The date of installation, conversion or takeover of the alarm system, whichever is applicable;
That a set of written operating instructions for the alarm system, including written guidelines on how to avoid false alarms, have been left with the applicant by the alarm installation company, the previous system owner, or the monitoring company;
The alarm installation company or current alarm company has trained the applicant in the proper use of the alarm system, including instructions on how to avoid false alarms; and
A certificate of approval has been obtained from the Plainsboro Township Construction Official for each alarm system.
Emergency services response may be influenced by factors including, but not limited to the availability of units to respond, priority calls, weather conditions, traffic conditions, emergency conditions, staffing levels, etc.
Alarm user shall:
Maintain the alarm site and the alarm system in a manner that will minimize or eliminate false alarms.
Make every reasonable effort to have a responder to the alarm system's location within 20 minutes when requested by law enforcement to deactivate an alarm system; provide access to the alarm site; provide alternative security for the alarm site.
Not activate an alarm system for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the alarm system was intended to report.
Have a licensed alarm installation company inspect the alarm system after three false alarms in a one-year period. After five false alarms within a one-year period, the alarm user must have a licensed alarm installation company modify the alarm system to be more false-alarm resistant or provide additional user training as appropriate.
Maintain a written set of operating instructions for each alarm system.
Complete the customer false alarm prevention checklist and submit it with the registration to the alarm administrator.
No person shall use or possess an operative alarm system without having registered it in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
No person owning, using or possessing an alarm system shall cause or permit the giving of repeated false alarms, whether intentional, accidental or otherwise.
An alarm registration cannot be transferred to another person or alarm site. An alarm user shall inform the alarm administrator of any change that alters the information listed on the alarm registration within five business days of such a change.
All fines and fees owed by an applicant must be paid before an alarm registration may be issued.
The acceptance of any alarm system by the Director of Public Safety and/or Fire Official as provided herein shall in no manner place upon the Police Division, Township of Plainsboro, or the Fire District, any additional liabilities other than those statutorily incurred with the police or fire functions.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any alarm system installed on property occupied by any Township, County, state or federal government agency or office.
Any alarm user who fails to register their system as specified in § 47-3 above is subject to a fine of $25.
Any residential alarm system, subject to the control of the alarm user, which has six or more false alarms for each system (i.e., burglar, fire, or medical) within the calendar year, is in violation of this chapter and subject to a fine of $50 to $1,000 for each false alarm over six.
Any commercial/business alarm system, subject to the control of the alarm user, and located in a building of less than 150,000 square feet, which has six or more false alarms for each system (i.e., burglar, fire, or medical) within the calendar year is in violation of this chapter and subject to a fine of $50 to $1,000 for each false alarm over six. Any commercial/business alarm system, subject to the control of the alarm user, and located in a building of more than 150,000 square feet, which has 10 or more false alarms for each system (i.e. burglar, fire, or medical) within the calendar year is in violation of this chapter and subject to a fine of $50 to $1,000 for each false alarm over 10. Businesses which have more than one building on a site will be subject to the control of the alarm user, which has six or more false alarms for each system in each building (i.e., burglar, fire, or medical) within the calendar year is in violation of this chapter and subject to a fine of $50 to $1,000 for each false alarm over six.
Any alarm user installing any alarm system not in compliance with this chapter is subject to a fine of $100.