City of Scranton, PA
Lackawanna County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Scranton 12-13-2012 by Ord. No. 79-2012[1]; amended 7-2-2014 by Ord. No. 31-2014. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention — See Ch. 243.
Noise — See Ch. 317.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former Ch. 152, Alarms and Alarm Systems, adopted as follows: Art. I, 11-8-1995 by Ord. No. 129-1995, as amended; Art. II, 5-19-1983 by Ord. No. 32-1983, as amended.

§ 152-1 Definitions and interpretation.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words in the plural include the singular number; words in the singular shall include the plural; and words in the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
ALARM
Communication to the Police Department or Fire Department indicating that a crime or other emergency situation warranting immediate action by the Police Department or Fire Department has occurred or is occurring.
ALARM DEVICE
Any device designated to automatically transmit an alarm by wire, telephone, radio or other means:
A. 
Directly to the Police Department or Fire Department;
B. 
To a person who is instructed to notify the Police Department or Fire Department of the alarm; or
C. 
To activate a bell or sounding device to be heard outside the building which is intended to alert the Police or Fire Department or others to the existence of a crime or other emergency situation warranting police action and/or Fire Department action.
CITY
The City of Scranton.
ENTITY
An individual, corporation, partnership, incorporated association or other similar entity.
FALSE ALARM
The activation of an alarm device by inadvertence, negligence, or intentional or unintentional acts, to which the Scranton Police Department or Scranton Fire Department responds, including alarms caused by malfunction of the alarm device.

§ 152-2 False alarms.

A. 
Any entity causing false alarm(s) for any reason shall pay to the City a charge for each and every false alarm to which the Police Department or Fire Department responds, in each calendar year, pursuant to § 152-3 below.
B. 
False alarm totals; notification of charges.
(1) 
False alarm totals shall be calculated within 15 days of the end of each month by the Scranton Fire Department. Those totals shall be forwarded to the City Treasurer to be processed into bills. The entity should receive written notice of billing at the last known address by regular mail within 30 days of the monthly cycle. Within 60 days of January 1, a bill shall be sent to all entities reflecting any unpaid balances due from the preceding year. Failure by the Scranton Fire Department to mail notice of assessment of a false alarm charge within one year from the date of occurrence of the false alarm shall preclude the Scranton Fire Department from assessing a false alarm charge.
(2) 
When a false alarm occurs, the Scranton Police Department, within 10 days from the date of a false alarm, shall notify the entity owning the property at which the alarm device sounded or the entity causing said alarm that a false alarm charge is due and the amount thereof. Said notice shall be in writing and mailed to said entity at its last known address by regular mail. Failure by the Scranton Police Department to mail notice of assessment of a false alarm charge within one year from the date of occurrence of the false alarm shall preclude the Scranton Police Department from assessing a false alarm charge.
C. 
A false alarm charge shall be due and payable to the City Treasurer's office 30 days from the date of the mailing of the notice of the assessment of the charge. The City Treasurer shall submit a report to the Business Administrator on the first day of each month including, but not limited to, the following information:
(1) 
The name of the entity which has been assessed a false alarm charge;
(2) 
The address of the property to which the Police Department of Fire Department responded;
(3) 
The date upon which said response was made;
(4) 
The amount of the false alarm charges outstanding as of the last day of the preceding month;
(5) 
Any payment made on the account and the date of said payment; and
(6) 
A list of delinquent names.
D. 
Failure of an entity causing a false alarm to pay a false alarm charge on or before the date due shall constitute a violation of this chapter and shall subject said entity to the penalties set forth in § 152-6 hereof. The Scranton Police Department or Scranton Fire Department shall be responsible for filing the appropriate legal complaint with the District Judge within whose jurisdiction the property is located.

§ 152-3 Service charges.

Should any alarm device described in the above sections cause a false alarm during any calendar year to date, then a graduated service charge shall be levied against the entity pursuant to Subsection A if levied by the Scranton Fire Department and pursuant to Subsection B if levied by the Scranton Police Department, as follows:
A. 
Fire Department levied service charges:
(1) 
First and second false alarms: no charge.
(2) 
Third and fourth false alarms: $250 each.
(3) 
Fifth false alarm: $500.
(4) 
Sixth and subsequent false alarms: $1,000 each.
B. 
Police Department levied service charges:
(1) 
First and second false alarms: no charge.
(2) 
Third and fourth false alarms: $100 each.
(3) 
Fifth false alarm: $250.
(4) 
Sixth and subsequent false alarms: $500 each.

§ 152-4 Exceptions.

The following shall not be considered false alarms:
A. 
Alarms caused by the testing, failure or repair of telephone lines. The entity shall be responsible for notifying its alarm company prior to testing.
B. 
Alarms caused by an act of God, such as earthquakes, flood, windstorm, thunder or lightning.

§ 152-5 Administration and enforcement.

The City of Scranton, through the Police Department or Fire Department or their respective designees, shall have the responsibility and authority to assess the fees as herein provided.

§ 152-6 Violations and penalties.

Any entity which shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with any of the terms or provisions of this chapter or of any regulation or requirement pursuant hereto and authorized hereby shall, upon conviction thereof, be ordered to pay a fine of $300 and, in default of payment of fines and costs, be imprisoned not more than 90 days. Each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense. Should the City be required to institute collection and/or legal proceedings against an entity for failure or refusal to pay service charges hereunder, said entity will be responsible for all of the City's costs associated with said collection and/or legal proceedings, including, but not limited to, the City's reasonable attorneys' fees.

§ 152-7 Appeals.

Any entity against which a service charge has been levied by the Scranton Police Department or the Scranton Fire Department shall have 30 calendar days from the date of issuance to appeal said service charge, in writing, by submitting said written appeal request to the Director of the Department of Licensing, Inspections and Permits. The Director of the Department of L.I.P.S. shall have 30 calendar days from receipt of said appeal request to investigate and render a decision in writing to the entity. The decision on said appeal request shall be at the sole discretion of the Director of L.I.P.S. and shall be final and binding.