Town of Tonawanda, NY
Erie County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Tonawanda 12-19-1994 by L.L. No. 8-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 133.
Trespassing — See Ch. 199.

§ 39-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Tonawanda by reducing the number of avoidable alarms of fire, intrusion, robbery/holdup or other emergencies which contribute to ineffective utilization of police, fire and medical emergency agencies requiring emergency responses, which are susceptible to high accident rates, interfere with genuine emergencies (responses) and produce unnecessary alarm noise to the surrounding community.

§ 39-2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
ALARM SYSTEM
A device or an assembly of equipment which is designed to identify a robbery/holdup or intrusion or detect smoke, abnormal rise in temperature, fire, medical emergency or an entry into or exit from a building, structure or facility and by reason thereof emits an audible response intended to alert persons outside of the premises and/or transmit a signal or message to an emergency agency either directly or through a private answering point.
AUTOMATIC DIALER
A device that automatically dials and relays a prerecorded message to an emergency agency.
AVOIDABLE ALARM
The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence or carelessness of the owner, user, custodian, operator or lessee of an alarm system or that person's employee(s), guest(s) or agent(s) requiring an emergency response from an emergency agency when in fact an emergency requiring such a response does not exist. An avoidable alarm is also the intentional activation of an alarm system when the person activating it knows an emergency does not exist as well as all alarm system activations in which an investigation by the Police Chief and/or Code Enforcement Officer of the Town reveals no evidence of the existence of an emergency. An avoidable alarm is not deemed to include the activation of an alarm system by violent conditions of nature, acts of God or similar causes beyond the control of the owner, user, custodian, operator or lessee of an alarm system or that person's employee(s), guest(s) or agent(s), nor is an avoidable alarm deemed to be the activation of an alarm system under any circumstances in which the person activating the alarm system reasonably believes that an emergency situation exists.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
EMERGENCY AGENCY
The Town Police Department, the Town Emergency Medical Unit, any fire company or any emergency dispatch center.
PERSON
Any person, partnership, firm, corporation or any unincorporated association.
TOWN
The Town of Tonawanda, New York.
TOWN BOARD
The Town Board of the Town of Tonawanda, New York.

§ 39-3 Consent to inspection.

[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
Owners, users, custodians, operators or lessees of an alarm system and owners, lessees and occupants of the premises in which an alarm system is installed, shall be deemed to have consented to inspection of the alarm system and premises in which said alarm system is installed at reasonable hours by the Police Chief and/or Code Enforcement Officer of the Town, or their designated representatives.

§ 39-4 Automatic cutoff system required; automatic dialer disconnection.

A. 
No person shall install or maintain an external audible alarm system which does not contain an operational automatic cutoff system which turns off the external audible alarm after a period not to exceed 10 minutes.
B. 
An automatic dialer connected directly to an emergency agency shall automatically disconnect and/or terminate its message after the message has been transmitted a maximum of two times. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, the total transmission time of all messages shall not exceed five minutes.

§ 39-5 Connection to Enhanced 911 or 911 Emergency Telephone Service restricted; authorization required.

A. 
No alarm system shall have an automatic dialer feature or other type of alarm alert which connects automatically to Enhanced 911 or the 911 Emergency Telephone System.
B. 
There shall be no automatic alarm system with direct communication of any type to an emergency agency without prior written authorization from the emergency agency where the alarms terminate or connect.

§ 39-6 Penalties for offenses; notice.

A. 
General provisions.
(1) 
It shall be a violation of this chapter to cause or permit an avoidable alarm. The owner, user, custodian, operator or lessee of the alarm system from which an avoidable alarm emanates shall be held accountable for all avoidable alarms emanating from that alarm system and shall be fully liable for all fines arising therefrom.
(2) 
The Police Chief and/or Code Enforcement Officer of the Town shall keep a record of all avoidable alarms relayed by all alarm systems installed within the Town.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
B. 
Fines.
(1) 
An owner, user, custodian, operator or lessee of an alarm system from which an avoidable alarm emanates shall pay a fine for each such avoidable alarm in each calendar year as follows in accord with which emergency agency responds and the classification of premises:
(a) 
The Town Police Department, the Town Emergency Medical Unit and any emergency dispatch unit response:
[1] 
Residential properties.
[a] 
First through third avoidable alarm responses: no charge; written notice of warning to issue for each avoidable alarm.
[b] 
Fourth through sixth avoidable alarm responses: fine of $25 for each avoidable alarm.
[c] 
Seventh and more avoidable alarm responses: fine of $50 for each avoidable alarm.
[2] 
Commercial and industrial properties.
[a] 
First through fifth avoidable alarm responses: no charge; written notice of warning to issue for each avoidable alarm.
[b] 
Sixth through 10th avoidable alarm responses: fine of $25 for each avoidable alarm.
[c] 
Eleventh through 25th avoidable alarm responses: fine of $50 for each avoidable alarm.
[d] 
Twenty-sixth and more avoidable alarm responses: fine of $100 for each avoidable alarm.
(b) 
Fire Department response, all properties.
[1] 
First avoidable alarm response: no charge; written notice of warning to issue for each avoidable alarm.
[2] 
Second avoidable alarm response: fine of $50 for each avoidable alarm.
[3] 
Third and more avoidable alarm responses: fine of $100 for each avoidable alarm.
(2) 
The Police Chief and/or Code Enforcement Officer of the Town shall cause written notice of any warning or fine imposed by this section to be mailed to the owner, user, custodian, operator or lessee of the alarm system by first-class mail.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
(3) 
Fines shall be paid by the owner, user, custodian, operator or lessee of the alarm system to the Town of Tonawanda Justice Court at 1835 Sheridan Drive, Kenmore, New York 14223.
(4) 
All fines imposed by this section shall be paid no later than 30 days from the date of mailing of the aforesaid notice. Upon the failure of any owner, user, custodian, operator or lessee of an alarm system to pay a fine imposed pursuant to this chapter within the time period so designated, the Police Chief and/or the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town may seek to recover said fine in the Justice Court of the Town of Tonawanda.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
C. 
Notice of avoidable alarm. The written notice of any warning or fine sent pursuant to this chapter shall advise the owner, user, custodian, operator or lessee of that alarm system that any further avoidable alarms emanating from that alarm system during the remaining calendar year shall be subject to the warnings and fines contained in this chapter, shall detail the time, date and place where the avoidable alarm(s) occurred, specify the emergency agency that responded and shall further direct the owner, user, custodian, occupant or lessee of that alarm system to take appropriate remedial action to result in the elimination of further avoidable alarms emanating from that alarm system. The notice described herein shall be sent by first-class mail to the owner, user, custodian, occupant or lessee of the alarm system.

§ 39-7 Appeals.

[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
A. 
In the event that the owner, user, custodian, occupant or lessee of an alarm system receiving written notice of an avoidable alarm desires to challenge the determination made by the Police Chief and/or the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town that an avoidable alarm occurred, the owner, user, custodian, occupant or lessee of the alarm system shall, in writing, notify the Police Chief and/or the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town, as appropriate, within 30 days after receipt of any notice of avoidable alarm. The failure to give timely notice shall be deemed a waiver of the right to review the determination.
B. 
The Police Chief and the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town shall establish a procedure whereby the owner, user, custodian, occupant or lessee of an alarm system who duly notifies the Police Chief and/or the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of his desire to challenge a determination of avoidable alarm may present evidence as to why any such alarm should not be deemed an avoidable alarm. The Police Chief and the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town shall designate a member or members of their Departments, not to exceed five in number, to receive and review such evidence and make recommendations and findings of fact to the Police Chief and the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town regarding such determination. The Police Chief and the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town shall then make the final determination as to whether the alarm in issue was in fact an avoidable alarm. Such final determination shall be reviewable only pursuant to procedure under Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules.

§ 39-8 Enforcement.

[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
A. 
The Police Chief and/or the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town shall enforce this chapter for avoidable alarms emanating from alarm systems.
B. 
The Police Chief and the Code Enforcement Officer may, from time to time, promulgate rules and regulations in order to provide for the efficient recordkeeping and the management of this chapter.