Town of Zolfo Springs, FL
Hardee County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Zolfo Springs 4-14-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 197.
This chapter shall be known as the "Public Safety Alarm Ordinance."
It is the intent of the Town Council of Zolfo Springs, Florida, to establish a system for regulation of public safety alarms to minimize the public nuisance and waste of Town resources caused by false alarms. The Town wishes to discourage false alarm events because they tie up emergency personnel, endangering other citizens who have actual emergencies, and endanger emergency personnel who respond to alarms at higher speeds than normal to arrive at the scene at the earliest time safely possible. For these reasons, it is the policy of the Town that public safety alarm equipment must be maintained and monitored in a manner that minimizes false alarms.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM
Any form of signal from an alarm system eliciting, or intended to elicit, a response by police, fire or emergency medical personnel.
ALARM USER
Any person or entity of any kind, in control of a building, structure, facility or premises, or any portion thereof, where an alarm is used.
FALSE ALARM
An alarm signal eliciting a response by police, fire or emergency medical personnel when the situation requiring that response does not exist, unless otherwise exempted by this chapter.
PUBLIC SAFETY ALARM SYSTEM or ALARM SYSTEM
Any device or system for the detection and notification of the presence of a medical emergency or unauthorized or illegal entry into a building, structure or facility, or for alerting others to the commission of an unlawful act, or which detects heat, smoke, flames, sprinkler activation or other fire event, which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. The term includes, but is not limited to, direct dial telephone devices, audible alarms and proprietary alarms.
A. 
Prior to installation or substantial modification or use of an alarm system, the alarm user shall furnish the Zolfo Springs Police Department and the Hardee County Fire Department with such information as the Departments deem necessary to provide adequate response to the alarm.
B. 
Owners of existing alarm systems shall, within 60 days of the effective date of this chapter, provide the notice required in Subsection A above.
C. 
All alarm systems having an audible signal or visual signal creating light that extends beyond the alarm user's property such that it can disturb neighboring residences shall be equipped so as to automatically shut off that signal at the expiration of a fifteen-minute alarm time period.
D. 
Alarm users shall provide, permanently attached to the alarm system or so nearby that they are clearly visible at the alarm system, contact phone numbers sufficient to elicit a response from the alarm user to the alarm system, when called.
E. 
Failure by the alarm user to respond as provided in Subsection D above within one hour of notification shall be a violation of this chapter.
F. 
All alarm systems shall be properly maintained. System malfunctions due to faulty maintenance shall be a violation of this chapter. False alarms due to weather conditions, power outages, insects or animals shall be deemed alarm system malfunctions.
G. 
Telephone alarm devices shall be constructed such that they shall not seize or otherwise hold or preempt the telephone lines of any governmental emergency response agency, including, without limitation, the 911 system, the Zolfo Springs Police Department, and the Hardee County Fire Rescue Department.
A. 
The Zolfo Springs Police Department shall keep a record of each false alarm of which it is made aware and shall classify the alarms as being fire related, police related, or EMT related. Upon the third false alarm, the Police Department shall notify the Town Clerk's office to send a warning letter to the address provided by the alarm user. If no address has been provided as required by this chapter, the Clerk shall proceed to enforce this chapter through the Town's Code Enforcement Ordinance(s)[1] or through such court action as is required under the circumstances, including, without limitation, mandatory and prohibitory injunctions.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 8, Code Enforcement.
B. 
Fines shall be imposed for violation of this chapter as follows:
(1) 
For failure to notify (§ 87-4A and B):
Initial Failure
Failure After One
Week of Notice
Failure After One
Month of Notice
$25
$100
$100 per day
(2) 
For failure to properly construct an alarm system (§ 87-4C, D, and G):
Initial Failure
Failure After One
Week of Notice
Failure After One
Month of Notice
$25
$150
$150 per day
(3) 
For failure to properly respond when called (§ 87-4E):
First Violation
Second Violation
Third and
Subsequent Violation
$25
$50
$100 per day
(4) 
For false alarms within any six-month period:
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th and Subsequent
$0
$0
$0
$50*
$250
$500
NOTES:
*In lieu of payment of the fine, and on a one-time basis only, the alarm user can show an invoice or other document evidencing repair work performed by a qualified alarm technician within five days of the third false alarm resolving the condition causing the false alarms. However, if a fourth false alarm occurs within the six-month period, the fine for that false alarm shall be $75.
C. 
This chapter may be enforced by any manner allowed under the law, including, without limitation, code enforcement under the Town's Code Enforcement Ordinance[2] and by injunction. If the Town prevails in such actions, the alarm user shall be entitled to all costs for enforcement, including, without limitation, attorney fees and court costs, including appeals.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 8, Code Enforcement.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict. Code Enforcement Ordinances shall not be deemed in conflict but shall be deemed amended by this chapter to incorporate the enforcement and fines included in this chapter.