Township of Springfield, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Springfield 10-12-1977 by Ord. No. 667.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed former Ch. 3, Alarm Devices, adopted 5-13-1970 by Ord. No. 593, as amended.

§ 3-1 Definitions.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and phrases shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meanings herein indicated:
ALARM EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER
Any person, firm or corporation who sells, leases or installs automatic warning devices.
ANSWERING SERVICE
A service whereby trained employees in attendance at all times receive prerecorded signals from automatic warning devices reporting an emergency at a stated location and who have the duty to relay immediately by live voice any such emergency message over a designated or direct trunk line to the communications center of the Police or Fire Department.
AUDIBLE ALARM
Any device, bell, horn or siren which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building and emits a warning signal audible outside the building, designed to attract attention when activated, requiring the Police or Fire Department to respond.
AUTOMATIC WARNING DEVICE [hereinafter referred to as "AWD('s)"]
Any instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which automatically transmits a prerecorded signal over regular telephone lines, by direct or indirect connection to the communications center, upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of a fire or intrusion.
CENTRAL STATION PROTECTIVE SYSTEM
A protective system operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation which maintains, supervises and accepts recorded signals from automatic warning devices at a central station having trained operators and guards in attendance at all times who have the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of a message by designated or direct trunk lines to the communications center.
CHIEF OF FIRE DEPARTMENT
A Chief of one of the Springfield Township Volunteer fire companies.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Springfield Township Police Department.
DESIGNATED TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the communications center of the Police or Fire Department that is for the primary purpose of handling emergency messages which originate from automatic warning devices and are transmitted directly or indirectly through an intermediary.
DIRECT TRUNK LINE
A nonlisted, directly connected telephone line leading to the communications center of the Police Department that is for the sole purpose of signaling for emergency police service.
[Amended 2-14-1979 by Ord. No. 680[1]]
FALSE ALARM
Any signal activated manually or by an automatic warning device, any audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal transmitted to the police or fire communications center to which police or firemen respond which is not the result of a burglary, fire, robbery or a similar emergency.
[Amended 9-10-1997 by Ord. No. 824]
FIRE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
The fire communications room and other rooms which house auxiliary communication equipment.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Fire Departments located within the Township of Springfield.
INTERMEDIARY
A central station protective system or an answering service, as herein defined.
KEY
To use a telephone line and equipment for transmitting a message, either directly or indirectly, by an automatic warning device.
POLICE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
The police communications room and other rooms which house auxiliary communication equipment.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Springfield Township Police Department.
PRIMARY TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the communications center of the Police or Fire Department that is for the purpose of handling emergency calls on a person-to-person basis, and which line is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory issued by the Bell Telephone Company.
SECONDARY TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the communications center of the Police or Fire Department that is for the purpose of handling administrative and other calls on a person-to-person basis, and which line is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory issued by the Bell Telephone Company.
SUBSCRIBER
Any resident, person, corporation, institution or company who has keyed an automatic warning device in the township to a designated or direct trunk line or who has installed or caused to be installed an audible alarm in the township, whether or not such device is keyed to a designated or direct trunk line.
[Amended 12-14-1988 by Ord. No. 762]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that "The purpose of this ordinance is to amend the said alarm devices regulations so that direct trunk lines may be used for intrusionary alarm device connections only, and any reference to permitting fire alarm connections by direct trunk lines to the communications center shall be repealed."

§ 3-2 Activating emergency alarms.

A. 
After the effective date of this chapter, all new automatic warning devices that transmit recorded messages directly to the Police or Fire Department, other than direct trunk line alarms, shall be keyed to a designated trunk line.
B. 
Within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter, existing automatic warning devices not connected to direct trunk line alarms in the township shall be disconnected from primary and secondary trunk lines and shall be connected to a designated trunk line.

§ 3-3 Registration of installations.

A. 
Within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter, every subscriber shall furnish to the Chief of Police a registration of such installation, which shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name, residence and telephone number of the user.
(2) 
The address where the device is installed and the telephone number of that address.
(3) 
The name, address and telephone number of a central station protective system or any other person or firm who is authorized to respond to an emergency and gain access to the address where the device is installed.
(4) 
The name and telephone number of the alarm equipment supplier and of any person other than the alarm equipment supplier who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the automatic warning device.
B. 
All information furnished pursuant to these subsections shall be kept confidential and shall be for the use of the Police and Fire Departments only.

§ 3-4 Registration procedure.

A. 
Each subscriber shall file an application of operation of an AWD with the township.
B. 
Each subscriber shall enter into an agreement with the township whereby the township would be rendered harmless for any damage or breakage caused by the township while making a forced entry to answer an AWD alarm, whether a false alarm or an authentic alarm.
C. 
The AWD must meet all specifications set forth in § 3-5 of this chapter.

§ 3-5 Standards for designated trunk line subscribers.

All AWD's shall meet minimum installation and operating standards as follows:
A. 
Except as provided in Subsection A(1) and (2) of this section, after the enactment of this chapter, users must equip audible alarms with a timing mechanism that will disengage the audible alarm after a maximum period of 15 minutes. Audible alarms without such a timing mechanism shall be unlawful in the township and must be disconnected by the user within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter. The following shall be excepted from the provisions of this subsection:
(1) 
Audible fire alarm signals provided for the evacuation of occupants of industries, institutions and other similar premises.
(2) 
Audible signals provided to indicate water flow in an automatic fire sprinkler system.
B. 
No AWD may be keyed to a primary or secondary trunk line.
C. 
AWD's which transmit recorded messages directly to the communications center must be keyed to a designated trunk line.
D. 
AWD's keyed to an intermediary shall relay messages to the communication center over a designated trunk line.
E. 
The type and content of recorded messages must be intelligible and, prior to installation, must be in a format approved by the Police Department.
F. 
No more than one call shall be made over a designated trunk line to the communication center as a result of a single activation of the AWD.
G. 
The sensory mechanism used in connection with an AWD must be adjusted to suppress false indications of fire or intrusion, so that the device will not be actuated by impulses due to fleeting pressure changes in water pipes, short flashes of light, the rattling or vibrating of doors and windows, vibrations to the premises caused by the passing of vehicles or any other force not related to genuine alarms.
H. 
Any AWD which transmits to the communication center a signal or a message (other than a recorded or live voice message) must be relayed to an alarm receiver panel as designated by the township.
I. 
All components of an AWD must be maintained in good repair by the subscriber to assure maximum reliability of operation.

§ 3-6 Standards for direct trunk line subscribers.

A. 
All subscribers desiring to use direct trunk lines for automatic intrusionary warning devices only shall have same connected from the subscriber's source to the communications center by the township's designated alarm equipment contractor.
[Amended 2-14-1979 by Ord. No. 680]
B. 
Applications shall be submitted to the Chief of Police on prescribed forms accompanied by the yearly fee of $100 prorated on the number of months remaining in the calendar year and payable thereafter on a calendar-year basis.
C. 
The subscriber shall enter into an agreement with the township contractor for regular maintenance of the subscriber's monitoring equipment at police headquarters. A fee of $25 per year is payable to the contractor for this purpose.
D. 
The township shall bear no responsibility or any expense in connection with the installation of facilities by the subscriber necessary for the emergency alarm equipment, nor the maintenance thereof, and particularly the rental of telephone wires and other facilities connecting the premises of the subscriber with the township's emergency alarm equipment.

§ 3-7 Testing and demonstrations.

No test or demonstration of an automatic warning device shall be conducted in the Township of Springfield without first obtaining permission from the Chief of Police.

§ 3-8 Responsibility for maintenance.

The owner of an AWD shall be solely responsible for the maintenance and service of the AWD equipment.

§ 3-9 Repair service.

Each subscriber shall arrange for repair service on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis, to repair such device or to correct any malfunction that may occur.

§ 3-10 Disconnection of defective devices.

When messages failing to comply with the operational requirements set forth in §§ 3-5, 3-6 and 3-9 are received by the Police or Fire Department, the Chief is authorized to demand that the subscriber, or his representative, disconnect the device until it is made to comply with operational requirements. If disconnection of the defective device is not accomplished, the Chief then shall take those steps necessary to disconnect the defective AWD. Any expenses so incurred by the township shall be reimbursed by the registered subscriber in accordance with law.

§ 3-11 False alarms.

[Amended 4-11-1979 by Ord. No. 682]
A. 
False intrusionary alarms. Any person, subscriber or alarm agent who causes a false intrusionary alarm for any reason shall pay the township a fine for each false alarm to which the Police Department responds in any consecutive twelve-month period as follows:
[Amended 12-11-1991 by Ord. No. 784; 1-13-1999 by Ord. No. 835]
Number of False Intrusionary Alarms in Any Consecutive Twelve-Month Period
Fine
First, second and third
No fine
Fourth and subsequent
$300 per occur-
rence
Not more than
B. 
False fire alarms. Any person, subscriber or alarm agent who causes a false fire alarm for any reason shall pay the township a fine for each false alarm to which the Fire Department responds in any consecutive twelve-month period as follows:
[Amended 12-11-1991 by Ord. No. 784; 1-13-1999 by Ord. No. 835]
Number of False Alarms in Any Consecutive Twelve- Month Period
Fine
First, second and third
No fine
Fourth and subsequent
Not more than $300 per occur- rence
C. 
In the absence of any apparent evidence of intrusion, illegal entry or attempted entry (in the case of an intrusionary, alarm), or evidence of a fire (in the case of a fire alarm), or unless obviously caused by extraordinary occurrence beyond the owner's control, such as power failure or surge or the like, then the false alarm shall be presumed to have been caused by the subscriber, or other person owning or in possession of the alarm device as appropriate.
[Added 4-13-1983 by Ord. No. 715]

§ 3-12 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 7-13-1988 by Ord. No. 756]
Failure of any person, subscriber or alarm agent to comply with the requirements of written notice of a violation of any provision hereof, including failure to pay false alarm fines as provided in § 3-11 above, shall constitute an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution and the delinquent false alarm fines provided in § 3-11, to be collectible before any District Justice as like fines and penalties are now by law collectible. Such notice shall continue in force and effect until full compliance with the requirements stated therein, and each failure to comply with such notice within 24 hours after the three days allowed for compliance shall constitute a separate offense and a separate fine therefor.