Township of Palmer, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Palmer 12-30-1982 as Ord. No. 198. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire alarm and sprinkler systems — See Ch. 81, Art. II.

§ 43-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this ordinance is to provide and create a centralized system for various types of burglar, fire and other emergency alarm devices, whether by direct line, radio, telephone or other means actuating an alarm console, as hereinafter defined, at the Police Department headquarters of the Township of Palmer for response thereto by the Police or Fire Department or other municipal agencies and to provide rules and regulations governing alarm devices, whether or not connected to such console.

§ 43-2 Applicability.

The provisions of this ordinance shall apply to any person, as hereinafter defined, who operates, distributes or owns any alarm device designed to summon the Police or Fire Departments or other municipal agencies of the township or any private agency to any location in response to any type of alarm signal, whether or not such alarm devices are connected to the alarm console, as hereinafter defined.

§ 43-3 Word usage; definitions.

A. 
Words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is mandatory and not discretionary.
B. 
For the purpose of this ordinance, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
ALARM CONSOLE
The console or control panel providing a visual or audio response, or both, to an alarm device and located within the confines of the Police Department of the township.
ALARM DEVICE
Any type of alarm system providing warning of burglary, fire or other emergency.
CHIEF
The Chief of the Police Department of the township.
DEPARTMENT
The Police Department of the township.
DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE
Any person designated by the Chief to perform a function required or permitted by the provisions of this ordinance. The term "designated representative" shall be limited to members of the Township Police Department and employees of the township assigned to and working in the Police Department for the purposes of administrating this ordinance.
FALSE ALARM
Any alarm actuated by inadvertence, negligence, intentional mischievous conduct or by malfunctioning of the alarm device or other relevant equipment, but does not include false alarms created by malfunction of the alarm console or by natural or man-made emergency.
PERMITTEE
Any person owning an alarm device who has obtained a permit according to the provisions of this ordinance.
PERSON
Any natural person, partnership, corporation, association or other entity.
PREMISES
The property of the permittee to which the alarm device is connected, including but not limited to residential, professional, commercial, churches, industrial or otherwise.

§ 43-4 Rules and regulations.

A. 
There is hereby established an alarm console in the township to be owned by the township and operated by members of the Police Department.
B. 
Any connection to said alarm console shall be by an alarm device approved by the Chief or his designated representative. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Chief or his designated representative may appeal, in writing, within 10 days to the Township Board of Supervisors for a hearing.
C. 
No person, whether presently or in the future, who owns, maintains, possesses or otherwise operates any alarm device designed to summon the Police Department, Fire Department or other municipal department of the township or any private agency to any type of alarm signal shall be required to connect such device to the alarm console. However, those persons whose alarm devices are presently connected to the Police Department of the township must, within 30 days after installation of the alarm console, either connect such device to the alarm console or remove and disconnect such device, at their expense, from the Police Department.
D. 
Nothing in this ordinance shall prohibit any person from securing the services of a private agency to provide burglar, fire or other emergency protection and to connect an alarm device to such private agency for such purposes without the necessity of connecting the same to the alarm console at the Police Department.
E. 
Notwithstanding Subsections C and D aforesaid, any person who owns, maintains, possesses or otherwise operates any such alarm device in the township who chooses not to connect the same to the alarm console is still subject to the rules, regulations and penalties of this ordinance, specifically, but not limited to, the requirements of obtaining a permit or license for the same (without paying the annual fee for hookup to the alarm console), the administrative actions for suspension and revocation of such license or permit under §§ 43-5 and 43-6 hereof and the penalties for violations of the ordinance, where applicable, under § 43-7 hereof.
F. 
Any person installing an alarm device on his premises shall make application therefor, in writing, to the Chief, which application shall contain the location of the device, the name and address of the installer of said device, the type of device, provisions relating to false alarms and testing procedures of the device, a list of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm and other information as may be required. Such application shall be acted upon by the Chief or his designated representative within 30 days of submission. If approved, such permission shall continue in force from year to year as long as the permittee pays the annual fee for connection to the alarm console, where applicable, registers the same and maintains the same alarm device. However, upon the substitution of one alarm device for another, the permittee must submit a new application. At the time of initial approval of the alarm device, the permittee shall receive a letter from the Chief or his designated representative setting forth a synopsis of this ordinance and the permittee's obligations and duties under it, which the permittee shall countersign upon receipt.
G. 
Any person who desires to connect his alarm device to the alarm console shall, in addition to submitting an application as aforesaid, pay the following fees:
(1) 
For initial hookup, registration and testing, no fee shall be required.
(2) 
An annual fee for the continued privilege of connection to the alarm console in the sum of $25 per year for a residential premises for each family unit residing on such premises.
(3) 
An annual fee for the continued privilege of connection to the alarm console in the sum of $100 per year for professional, commercial and industrial premises. In the event that more than one individually owned business is located on the same professional, commercial or industrial premises, the aforesaid annual fee shall be computed on the basis of each such individually owned business.
(4) 
In the event that any permittee fails to pay the required fees as set forth in this section on or before January 31 of each year, he shall be given notification by the Chief, in writing, by registered mail, and if such fee is not paid within 15 days of the date of mailing said notice, said alarm device shall be temporarily disconnected from the alarm console and shall not be reconnected until the overdue payment and an additional reconnection fee of $25 is paid.
H. 
Any permittee who conducts repairs to his alarm device or any other relevant equipment shall so notify the Police Department, in writing, before such repairs begin as to the commencement and termination dates thereof.
I. 
The alarm console and allied equipment are being maintained by the township at will and are subject to termination at any time upon 90 days' notification. The township is under no duty to any permittee or any other person to maintain the alarm console or the centralized system created hereunder for any duration of time. Any permit granted hereunder shall be accepted upon the express condition that the permittee shall indemnify and hold the township harmless from and on account of any and all damages arising out of the township's operation of the alarm console or the permittee's alarm device.
J. 
Additional administrative rules and regulations for implementation of this ordinance may be promulgated by the Chief after consultation with and approval by the Township Board of Supervisors, which shall pass a resolution effectuating the same at a regular township meeting.
K. 
Any unauthorized equipment may be disconnected by the Chief or his designated representative for noncompliance with this ordinance, and any person installing or maintaining unauthorized equipment shall be prosecuted for violation of this ordinance, as hereinafter provided, and each and every day that said equipment is in operation shall be considered a separate violation. Acceptance of the permit by a permittee shall be deemed as consent to inspection of the premises on which said alarm device is installed at reasonable hours by the Chief or his designated representative and to a testing of the same, at reasonable intervals and at reasonable hours, by the Chief or his designated representative.
L. 
Any alarm device which sounds an audible alarm at the premises where it is installed shall be subject to the following additional rules and regulations:
(1) 
The owner, resident or other person in control of the premises must be able to turn off the alarm device within 30 minutes after sounding.
(2) 
Prior to installation, a written statement must be executed between the alarm company which installed or is responsible for the alarm device and the owner, resident or other person in control of the premises permitting such alarm company to enter the premises to turn off or disable the alarm to stop it from sounding. The alarm company which installed or is responsible for the alarm device shall be available to so turn off or disable said device within 30 minutes upon receiving notification from the Police Department. Habitual unavailability of such alarm company for such purpose shall result in a violation of its business license in the township as hereinafter provided.
(3) 
Whenever the provisions of Subsection L(1) and (2) aforesaid cannot be completed, and after 60 minutes from the time of sounding, the Police Department has the authority to enter the premises to turn off or disable the alarm device.
(4) 
The provisions and penalties pertaining to false alarms of such devices shall be the same as hereinafter provided.
(5) 
All and any costs incurred in turning off or disabling such alarm device shall be borne by the alarm company which installed or is responsible for the alarm device or by the owner, resident or other person in control of the premises.

§ 43-5 Revocation of license.

A. 
In addition to any penalties which may be imposed for violation of this ordinance, the township may, pursuant to the provisions of this section, revoke the business license of a private alarm business agency in the township on any of the following grounds:
(1) 
Fraud or willful and knowing misrepresentation or false statement made in an application for a license.
(2) 
Fraud or willful and knowing misrepresentation or false statement made in the conduct of the alarm business.
(3) 
Failure to correct any deficiencies in equipment or operation within 48 hours after receipt of notice of the same from the Chief or his designated representative.
(4) 
Failure to comply, within a reasonable time, with any order or notice issued by the Chief or his other designated representative.
B. 
No alarm business license shall be revoked until a hearing is held by the Board of Supervisors upon citation issued by the Chief or his designated representative. Written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be served on the licensee at least 10 days before the date set for the hearing. The notice shall set forth a summary of the grounds advanced as the basis for the revocation of the license. The licensee shall be notified, in writing, of the decision as to revocation of his license, the licensee may continue to operate his business for a period of 30 days thereafter, and, at the end of that time, such business must terminate. Said licensee may reapply for such license at the expiration of one year from the date of notice of the decision.

§ 43-6 Revocation of permit.

A. 
In addition to any penalties which may be imposed for violations of this ordinance, the township may, pursuant to the provisions of this section, suspend or revoke the permit for the alarm device on any of the following grounds:
(1) 
As set forth in § 43-4G(4) herein, nonpayment of the required annual fee on or before January 31 of each year shall require a suspension of the permit until such annual fee and an additional reconnection fee are paid. Such nonpayment as of July 1 of any year shall result in a revocation of the permit and permanent disconnection from the alarm console until such time as reapplication is made and such annual fee paid. Habitual nonpayment shall result in a refusal to permit the person to connect to the alarm console system.
(2) 
As set forth in § 43-4K hereof, the use of unauthorized equipment or the failure to permit reasonable inspection or reasonable testing by the Chief or his designated representative shall result in a suspension of the permit until compliance is forthcoming. Habitual noncompliance shall result in a revocation of the permit.
(3) 
Fraud or willful and knowing misrepresentation or false statements made in the application for the permit or in the owning, maintaining, possessing or operating of the alarm device shall result in the revocation of the permit.
(4) 
Failure to correct any deficiencies in equipment or operation within 48 hours after receipt of notice of the same from the Chief or his designated representative shall result in a suspension of the permit until such corrections are made. Habitual failure shall result in a revocation of the permit.
(5) 
Habitual false alarms shall result in the revocation of the permit. In this regard, on a yearly basis, the first and second such false alarms shall cause written warnings to be issued; the third false alarm shall result in a fine of $25 to be paid to the township; and the fourth and each subsequent false alarm shall result in a fine of $50 each, to be paid to the township. When any such false alarm occurs, the Chief or his designated representative may make a reasonable inspection concerning the circumstances surrounding the same.
(6) 
Failure to comply, within a reasonable time, with any order or notice issued by the Chief or his designated representative shall result in a suspension of the permit until compliance is forthcoming. Habitual noncompliance shall result in a revocation of the permit.
B. 
Except for nonpayment set forth in Subsection A(1) hereof, no permit shall be suspended or revoked until a hearing is held by the Board of Supervisors upon citation issued by the Chief or his designated representative. Written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be served on the permittee at least 10 days before the date set for the hearing. The notice shall set forth a summary of the grounds advanced as the basis for the suspension or revocation of the permit. The permittee shall be notified, in writing, of the decision as to the suspension or revocation of the permit within 10 days after the hearing.

§ 43-7 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 10-25-1988 by Ord. No. 227]
A. 
Any person found guilty of violation of the terms of this ordinance shall be subject to a fine not in excess of $600 or imprisonment for a period of time not in excess of 90 days, or both.
B. 
Each day of violation of the particular code or ordinance applicable shall be considered a separate offense, for which the fines and penalties stated herein may be imposed on a daily basis.
C. 
For collection of fines and penalties, see § 1-16E of Chapter 1, General Provisions.

§ 43-8 Severability.

The provisions of this ordinance and all parts thereof are severable, and if any part of this ordinance or any clause or any sentence hereof is for any reason found to be invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect or impair the remaining provisions of this ordinance or any part thereof.

§ 43-9 When effective.

This ordinance shall become effective five days after adoption.

§ 43-10 Repealer.

All ordinances or parts of ordinances, insofar as they are inconsistent herewith, are hereby repealed absolutely.