Town of Nantucket, MA
Nantucket County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Nantucket as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 101.
[Adopted 4-10-1989 ATM by Art. 91, approved 7-24-1989]

§ 26-1 Definitions.

For the purpose of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
CONTRACTOR
Any firm or corporation in the business of supplying and installing private intrusion alarm devices or servicing the same.
[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 26, approved 8-27-2003]
FALSE PRIVATE INTRUSION ALARM
The activation of a private intrusion alarm system by any cause where in fact a hazard requiring attention to which police officers are expected to respond does not exist. Such causes include mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, recklessness, intentional conduct or negligence of the user of a private intrusion alarm system or of his employees or agents. For purposes of this definition, activation of a private intrusion alarm system by acts of vandals or acts of nature, including but not limited to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and similar weather or atmospheric disturbances, shall not be deemed a false private intrusion alarm.
PRIVATE INTRUSION ALARM SYSTEM
Any assembly of equipment or any device to signal the presence of a hazard to which the Town of Nantucket Police Department is expected to respond; provided, however, that such definition shall not include private fire alarm systems as may be defined in any other bylaw regulating false private fire alarms.
[1]
TOWN
The Town of Nantucket.
USER
The occupant of the premises containing the private intrusion alarm system.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Art. II of this chapter.

§ 26-2 Administrator; regulations.

A. 
There shall be in the Town an administrator for private intrusion alarm devices who shall have the powers and duties granted under this article.
B. 
The Chief of Police, or his designee, shall be the administrator under the direction and control of the Board of Selectmen.
C. 
The Board of Selectmen is authorized to adopt regulations for the administration of this article.

§ 26-3 Appeal Board.

A. 
There shall be in the Town a Private Intrusion Alarms Appeal Board, which shall have the powers and duties granted to it under this article.
B. 
The Private Intrusion Alarm Appeal Board shall consist of the Board of Selectmen.

§ 26-4 Registration required.

Each private intrusion alarm user shall register his private intrusion alarm device or devices with the administrator prior to use, provided that private intrusion alarm devices in use as of the effective date of this article may be registered no later than 60 days from such date.

§ 26-5 Confidential information.

All information in the possession of the administrator or the Police Department concerning specific private intrusion alarm users and specific private intrusion alarm devices shall be considered law enforcement information and as such shall be considered confidential and shall not be divulged without the written consent of the private intrusion alarm user or users concerned.

§ 26-6 Control and curtailment of alarm signals.

A. 
Every user shall submit to the Chief of Police the names and telephone numbers of at least two other persons who are authorized to respond to an emergency signal emitted by a private intrusion alarm system and who are authorized to open the premises wherein the private intrusion alarm is installed.
B. 
All private intrusion alarm systems which use an audible horn or bell shall be equipped with a device that will shut off such horn or bell within 10 minutes after activation of the private intrusion alarm system.
[Amended 4-8-1996 ATM by Art. 46, approved 7-15-1996]
C. 
All private intrusion alarm systems shall be equipped with a battery backup or other device or be of a design so as to prevent the signalling of a private intrusion alarm in the event of an AC power failure.
[Amended 4-8-1996 ATM by Art. 46, approved 7-15-1996]

§ 26-7 Registration requirements; annual fee.

[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 58, approved 6-30-2003]
Every person who is the owner of, or who is in charge of, premises on which a private intrusion alarm device is installed shall register such intrusion alarm device annually on or before April 1 of each year and shall submit to the Chief of the Town of Nantucket Police Department, in writing, on or before that date, a registration statement, on a form to be established by the Police Chief, and an annual registration fee in the amount of $50. The registration statement shall contain such person's name, address and telephone number, as well as the name, address and telephone number of at least two other persons who are authorized to respond to a signal transmitted by the private intrusion alarm device and who are authorized to open the premises on which the private intrusion alarm device is installed. For such private intrusion alarm devices currently installed, such persons shall submit such registration statements within 30 days of the adoption of this article. Such registration form may require permission from the user in favor of the Town of Nantucket Police Department to break into and enter the registered premises forcibly without liability on the indemnification from the user in favor of the Town and its officers with respect to any such forcible breaking and entering, in order to respond to such an alarm.

§ 26-8 Consequences of false alarms; fee; penalty.

A. 
Upon the occurrence of three false private intrusion alarms attributable to one premises within a calendar year, the Police Chief or his designee may, at his discretion, in writing, notify the private intrusion alarm user:
(1) 
That the user is to discontinue the use of the private intrusion alarm insofar as it triggers Police Department response.
(2) 
That further connections to the communications console at the Police Station will be contingent upon the private intrusion alarm user equipping the private intrusion alarm system with a device that will shut off any audible horn or bell within 10 minutes after activation of the private intrusion alarm system.
(3) 
That further connections to the communications console at the Police Station will be contingent upon the private intrusion alarm user equipping the private intrusion alarm system with a battery backup or other device, or that the private intrusion alarm be modified so as to prevent the signalling of a private intrusion alarm in the event of an AC power failure.
B. 
The private intrusion alarm user shall be assessed a fee of $100 for each additional false private intrusion alarm occurring at the premises within the same calendar year. All fees assessed hereunder shall be paid to the Town Treasurer for deposit into the general fund.
[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 58, approved 6-30-2003]
C. 
Failure to comply with § 26-7 set forth above shall be punishable in accordance with Chapter 1 of the Code of the Town of Nantucket.

§ 26-9 Notification and appeal.

A. 
False private intrusion alarm fees.
(1) 
The administrator shall notify the responsible private intrusion alarm user of any false private intrusion alarm fee assessed under § 26-8B above by certified mail to the address which is on file with the Tax Assessor of the Town for the purposes of tax mailings. Within 30 days after the mailing of such notice, the private intrusion alarm user may file with the administrator information to show that the private intrusion alarm was not a false private intrusion alarm within the meaning of this article.
(2) 
The administrator shall consider such information and, based thereon, shall affirm or rescind the false private intrusion alarm fee and notify the private intrusion alarm user of his decision by mail. Within 30 days after mailing such notice, the private intrusion alarm user may file with the Private Intrusion Alarm Appeal Board an appeal in writing.
B. 
Appeal to the Private Intrusion Alarm Appeal Board. Upon receipt of a timely appeal from a false private intrusion alarm fee, the Private Intrusion Alarm Appeal Board shall hold a hearing to consider it and shall mail notice of the time and place of said hearing to the private intrusion alarm user taking the appeal at his last known address at least 15 days before the hearing. On the basis of information introduced at the hearing, the Board shall affirm the fee if it finds that the fee was properly imposed, or rescind the fee if the fee was not properly imposed.
C. 
Notice to include instructions. Each notice of a false private intrusion alarm fee or the affirmation of such fee by the administrator shall refer to and provide instructions concerning the private intrusion alarm user's right to further recourse by filling in information with the administrator, or an appeal with the Private Intrusion Alarm Appeal Board, as the case may be.

§ 26-10 Appeal fee.

A. 
There shall be a fee of $15 for each appeal to the Private Intrusion Alarm Appeal Board; provided, however, that in the event such Board finds in favor of the user, such appeal fee shall be refunded.
B. 
The amount of the fee for taking an appeal may be raised or lowered from time to time at the discretion of the Private Intrusion Alarm Appeal Board.

§ 26-11 Deposit of fees into general fund.

Fees for false private intrusion alarms and appeal fees will be collected by the administrator and deposited into the general fund.

§ 26-12 Town assumes no responsibility for devices.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, the Town, its departments, officers, agents and employees, shall be under no obligation whatsoever concerning the adequacy, operation, or maintenance of any private intrusion alarm device or of the private intrusion alarm monitoring facilities at police headquarters.

§ 26-13 Violations and penalties.

Any person who commits, or causes to be committed, any of the following acts shall be subject to a fine of up to $100 for each such act:
A. 
Intentional causing of a false private intrusion alarm.
B. 
Failure to register a private intrusion alarm or private intrusion alarm device or to submit changes in registration information, as required by this article; each day of such failure shall constitute a separate violation.

§ 26-14 Enforcement.

A. 
The Town, upon authorization by the administrator, may institute civil proceedings to enforce the provisions of §§ 26-6, 26-7 and 26-8 of this article.
B. 
Any police officer of the Town may utilize the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in Chapter 1 of the Code of the Town of Nantucket or may file an application for a criminal complaint with the Trial Court of the Commonwealth, District Court, Nantucket Division, to enforce the provisions of § 26-13 of this article.

§ 26-15 Exceptions.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to intrusion alarm devices on premises owned or controlled by the Town, nor to intrusion alarm devices installed in a motor vehicle or trailer.

§ 26-16 Severability.

The invalidity of any provision or provisions of this article shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.
[Adopted 4-10-1989 ATM by Art. 92, approved 7-24-1989]

§ 26-17 Determination; purpose.

A. 
It has been determined that the number of false private alarms being made to the Fire Department hinders the efficiency of that Department by the deployment of apparatus and personnel to so-called "false alarms."
B. 
The adoption of this article is intended to charge the user whose property continually generates false private alarms due to improperly designed, installed or maintained systems.
C. 
It is further intended to reduce the number of false alarms by promoting responsible users and reliable systems for the protection of life and property. A reduction in false alarms will, in turn, save the taxpayers dollars for the Town of Nantucket.

§ 26-18 Definitions.

For the purpose of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
CONTRACTOR
Any firm or corporation in the business of supplying and installing alarm systems or servicing the same.
[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 26, approved 8-27-2003]
FALSE PRIVATE FIRE ALARM
Any signal, telephone dialer or oral communication from an alarm company's central station transmitted directly to the Fire Department requesting, requiring or resulting in a response on the part of the Fire Department as a result of the activation of an alarm system by any cause where in fact a hazard requiring urgent attention to which fire fighters are expected to respond does not exist. Such causes include mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or recklessness, intentional conduct or negligence of the user of an alarm system or of his employees or agents. For purpose of this definition, activation of an alarm system by any of the following acts, including but not limited to vandals, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and similar weather or atmospheric disturbances, shall not be deemed a false alarm.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
Any assembly of equipment or any device designed to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention to which fire fighters are expected to respond, excluding any private alarm system regulated by any bylaw applicable to the Police Department response to private intruder alarms.
[1]
TOWN
The Town of Nantucket.
USER
The occupant of the premises containing the alarm system.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Art. I of this chapter.

§ 26-19 Administrator; regulations.

A. 
There shall be in the Town an administrator for fire alarm systems who shall have the powers and duties granted under this article.
B. 
The Fire Chief, or his designee, shall be the administrator under the direction and control of the Board of Selectmen.
C. 
The Board of Selectmen is authorized to adopt regulations for the administration of this article.

§ 26-19.1 Key boxes may be required.

[Added 4-4-2006 ATM by Art. 65, approved 8-2-2006]
A. 
When access to or within a structure or an area is unduly difficult because of secured openings or where immediate access is necessary for life saving or fire-fighting purposes, the Chief may require the owner, lessee, tenant, or other party in control of said structure or area, by written notification mailed to said party, to install a key box in an accessible location approved by the Fire Chief.
B. 
Said key box shall be of a design approved by the Fire Chief and shall contain all keys which the Fire Chief deems necessary to gain the required access to the structure or area. Two keys for said box shall be supplied to the Fire Chief. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, lessee, tenants, or other party in control of a structure or area (1) to assume all costs involved in the installation of said key box and supplying keys to the Fire Chief, (2) to keep said box in good repair and (3) to insure that all keys contained therein are those currently in use in the structure or area.

§ 26-20 Appeal Board.

A. 
There shall be in the Town a False Private Fire Alarm Appeal Board, which shall have the powers and duties granted to it under this article.
B. 
The False Private Fire Alarm Appeal Board shall consist of three persons: a designee of the Board of Selectmen, the Fire Chief and/or Superintendent of Fire Alarms and a representative selected by the Board of Selectmen from nominations by the Nantucket Lodging Association.

§ 26-21 Registration required.

Each private fire alarm user shall register his alarm system with the administrator prior to use, provided that alarm systems in use as of the effective date of this article may be registered no later than 60 days from such date.

§ 26-22 Confidential information.

All information in the possession of the administrator or the Fire Department concerning specific fire alarm users and specific fire alarm systems shall be considered law enforcement related and in order to discourage arson as such are to be treated confidentially and shall not be divulged without the written consent of the fire alarm user or users concerned.

§ 26-23 Control and curtailment of alarm signals.

A. 
Every user shall submit to the Fire Chief, or his designee, the names and telephone numbers of at least two other persons or companies who are authorized to respond to an emergency signal transmitted by an alarm system and who are authorized to open the premises wherein the alarm system is installed.
B. 
Receipt of the information described in Subsection A above shall not in any way limit the right of the Fire Department to enter the subject premises prior to the arrival of the authorized person or company should immediate entry be deemed necessary by the Fire Department.
C. 
All alarm systems installed after the effective date of this article shall be equipped with a battery backup or other device or be of a design so as to prevent the signalling of an alarm in the event of an AC power failure.

§ 26-24 Registration and inspection requirements.

A. 
Every user who is the owner of or who is in charge of premises on which an alarm system is installed shall cause to be inspected and registered such alarm system annually on or before April 1 of each year and shall submit to the Fire Chief of the Nantucket Fire Department, or his designee, on or before that date, a copy of the current 100% annual inspection report and, as applicable, in writing, a registration statement on a form to be established by the Fire Chief. The registration statement shall contain the user's name, address and telephone numbers, as well as the name, address and telephone number of at least two other persons or companies who are authorized to respond to a signal transmitted by the alarm system and who are authorized to open the premises on which the alarm system is installed. Such registration may require permission from the user in favor of the Town of Nantucket to break into and enter the premises forcibly without liability to the Town or to any fire fighter and may require indemnification by the user in favor of the Town and such fire fighters for any damage resulting from such entry in response to such private fire alarm.
B. 
For alarm systems currently installed, such persons shall submit such registration statements within 30 days of the adoption of this article.

§ 26-25 Consequences of false alarms; fee.

A. 
Upon the occurrence of two false alarms attributable to one premises within a calendar year, the Fire Chief, or his designee, may, at his discretion, in writing, notify the private alarm user:
(1) 
That the use of the private fire alarm system is to be discontinued insofar as a response is expected from the Nantucket Fire Department until the repairs are made acceptable to the Fire Department; and
(2) 
That further connection to the communications console at the fire station will be contingent upon the alarm user equipping the alarm system with a battery backup or other device or that the alarm system be of a design so as to prevent the signalling of alarms in the event of an AC power failure.
B. 
The alarm user shall be assessed a fee of $200 for each additional false fire alarm occurring at the premises within the same calendar year. All fees assessed hereunder shall be paid to the Town Treasurer for deposit into the general fund.
[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 58, approved 6-30-2003]
C. 
Failure to comply with § 26-24 set forth above shall be punishable in accordance with Chapter 1 of the Code of the Town of Nantucket.
D. 
Failure of the user to have the annual inspection done as required by § 26-24 above shall be punishable by a fine of $100 for every false fire alarm transmitted from that property (notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection A above) until the required inspection has been completed by a recognized testing company.
E. 
Any person disconnecting a system or portion of a system for the purpose of circumventing this article shall be fined $300 and, in the event that such person is a user as defined in § 26-18 above, shall have his license or certificate of occupancy revoked for 30 days.
F. 
The Fire Chief and/or Superintendent of Fire Alarms may, in his discretion, grant relief to a user from accruing false fire alarm fees, if, in the past, the user has taken reasonable steps to prevent false private fire alarms and has promptly dealt with any problems or repairs.

§ 26-26 Notification and appeal.

A. 
False private fire alarm fees.
(1) 
The administrator shall notify the responsible fire alarm user of any false private fire alarm fee assessed under § 26-25B above, by certified mail, return receipt requested. Within 30 days after the mailing of such notice, the alarm user may file with the administrator information to show that the alarm was not a false private fire alarm within the meaning of this article.
(2) 
The administrator shall consider such information and, based thereon, shall affirm or rescind the false private fire alarm fee and notify the alarm user of his decision by certified mail, with return receipt requested. Within 30 days after mailing of such notice, the alarm user may file with the False Private Fire Alarm Appeal Board an appeal in writing.
B. 
Appeal to the False Private Fire Alarm Appeal Board. Upon receipt of a timely appeal from a false private fire alarm fee, the False Private Fire Alarm Appeal Board shall hold a hearing and shall mail notice of the time and place of said hearing to the alarm user taking the appeal at his last known address at least 15 days before the hearing. On the basis of information introduced at the hearing, the Board shall affirm the charge if it finds that the fee was properly imposed or rescind the fee if the fee was not properly imposed.
C. 
Notice to include instructions. Each notice of a false alarm fee or the reaffirmation of such fee by the administrator shall refer to and provide instructions concerning the alarm user's right to further recourse by filing information with the administrator or an appeal with the False Private Fire Alarm Appeal Board, as the case may be.

§ 26-27 Appeal fee.

A. 
There shall be a fee of $15 for each appeal to the False Private Fire Alarm Appeal Board; provided, however, that in the event such Board finds in favor of the user, such appeal fee shall be refunded.
B. 
The amount of the fee for taking an appeal may be raised or lowered from time to time at the discretion of the False Private Fire Alarm Appeal Board.

§ 26-28 Deposit of fees into general fund.

Fees assessed for false alarms and appeal fees will be collected by the administrator and deposited into the general fund.

§ 26-29 Town assumes no responsibility for systems.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, the Town, its departments, officers, agents and employees shall be under no obligation whatsoever concerning the adequacy, operation or maintenance of any alarm system or of the alarm monitoring facilities not located at or under the installation control of the Nantucket Fire Department. This article shall in no manner create or extend liability or obligation of the Town for its actions in connection with alarms, including but not limited to response of the Fire Department to alarms, beyond that which exists at law, if any.

§ 26-30 Violations and penalties.

Any person who commits or causes to be committed any of the following acts shall be subject to a fine of up to $100 for each such act:
A. 
Intentional causing of a false alarm.
B. 
Failure to submit changes in registration information as required by this article; each day of such failure shall constitute a separate violation.

§ 26-31 Enforcement.

A. 
The Town, upon authorization by the administrator, may institute civil proceedings to enforce the provisions of §§ 26-23, 26-24 and 26-25 of this article.
B. 
The Town may utilize noncriminal disposition procedures as described in Chapter 1 of the Code of the Town of Nantucket or may file an application for a criminal complaint with the Trial Court of the Commonwealth, District Court, Nantucket Division, to enforce the provisions of § 26-30 of this article.

§ 26-32 Exceptions.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to fire alarm systems on premises owned or controlled by the Town or to alarm systems installed in a motor vehicle or trailer.

§ 26-33 Severability.

The invalidity of any provision or provisions of this article shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.