Borough of Fox Chapel, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 1 Lighting of Fires Requiring Attendance of Fire Department Prohibited.

[Ordinance 96, May 9, 1950, Section 1, as amended by Ordinance 122, January 4, 1954][1]
It is hereby made unlawful for any person or persons to light, or ignite, within the Borough boundaries, on public or private land, brush, wood, grass, paper, or material of any nature, the firing of which necessitates the attendance of the Borough Fire Department.[2]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Deleted.
[2]:
Editor's Note: Ordinance 122 also repealed all inconsistent ordinances or parts of ordinances.

§ 2 Fires on Borough Streets Prohibited.

[Ordinance 107, January 7, 1952, Section 1; as amended by Ordinance 536, December 21, 1992, Section 4][1]
It is hereby declared unlawful and to be a nuisance to burn and destroy leaves, grass, rubbish or debris of any nature upon the Borough streets.[2]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Deleted.
[2]:
Editor's Note: Section 3 of Ordinance 107 repealed all inconsistent ordinances and parts of ordinances.

§ 201 Purpose and Applicability.

[Ord. 607, 9/20/1999, § 1]
1. 
The purpose of this Part is to require alarm users and alarm companies to properly use and maintain the operational effectiveness and proper utilization of alarm systems and to reduce or eliminate false alarms which unduly divert law enforcement personnel from necessary functions including responding to criminal activity and which place an undue burden on fire personnel and resources.
2. 
This Part governs systems intended to summon law enforcement and fire department personnel, establishes criteria for such systems, provides for licensing of alarm companies and establishes penalties for violations.
3. 
This Part shall apply to all alarm systems, including local alarm systems, currently or hereinafter installed in the Borough of Fox Chapel.

§ 202 Definitions.

[Ord. 607, 9/20/1999, § 2; as amended by Ord. 610, 2/21/2000, § 1]
ALARM COMPANY — A person who/which is in the business of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, installing or monitoring an alarm system in an alarm site.
ALARM DISPATCH REQUEST
A notification to a law enforcement or fire department agency or dispatching agency that an alarm, either manual or automatic, has been activated at a particular alarm site.
ALARM SITE
A single-fixed premises or location served by an alarm system or systems. Each tenancy, if served by a separate alarm system in a multi-tenant building or complex, shall be considered a separate alarm site.
ALARM SYSTEM
A deice or series of devices, including but not limited to, systems interconnected with a radio frequency method such as cellular or private radio signals, which emit or transmit a remote or local audible, visual or electronic signal indicating an alarm condition and intended to summon law enforcement or fire department services of the Borough, including local alarm system. Alarm system does not include an alarm installed on a vehicle or person unless the vehicle or personal alarm is permanently located at a site.
ALARM USER
Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity who (which) owns, uses or is in control of any alarm system at its alarm site.
BOROUGH
Borough of Fox Chapel.
CANCELLATION or RESPONDING AGENCY ALARM DISPATCH CANCELLATION
The process by which an alarm company providing monitoring verifies with the alarm user or his/her representative or other responsible party that a false dispatch has occurred and that there is not an existing situation at the alarm site requiring law enforcement or fire department agency response.
DISPATCHING AGENCY
An entity designated by the Borough to receive notification of alarms from an alarm company.
DURESS ALARM
A silent alarm system signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life-threatening situation or a crime in progress requiring law enforcement response.
FALSE ALARM
An alarm dispatch request to a law enforcement or fire department agency when the responding personnel find no evidence of a criminal offense, attempted criminal offense or fire after having completed a timely investigation of the alarm site.
FIRE DETECTING DEVICE
A device which automatically detects heat, smoke or other products of combustion and activates an alarm upon any such detection.
LICENSE
A license issued by the Borough to an alarm company to sell, install, monitor, repair or replace alarm systems in the Borough of Fox Chapel.
LOCAL ALARM SYSTEM
Any alarm system that annunciates an alarm by an internal or external device at the alarm site only (i.e., is not connected directly or indirectly to an alarm company). Local alarm system does not include individual, battery-operated smoke detectors (e.g. FirstAlert™).
MONITORING
The process by which an alarm company receives signals from an alarm system and relays an alarm dispatch request to the Borough's dispatching agency for the purpose of summoning a law enforcement or fire department response to the alarm site.
ONE PLUS DURESS ALARM
The capacity of an alarm system to accept manual activation of a silent alarm signal by entering at a keypad a code that adds one to the last digit of the normal arm/disarm code (e.g., if normal code = 1234, then one plus duress code = 1235).
PANIC
An audible alarm system signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life threatening or emergency situation requiring law enforcement response.
PERSON
An individual, corporation, partnership, association, organization or similar entity.
VERIFY
An attempt by the alarm company or its representative to contact the alarm site by telephonic or other electronic means, whether or not actual contact with a person is made, before requesting law enforcement or fire department dispatch, in an attempt to avoid an unnecessary alarm dispatch request.

§ 203 Alarm System Requirements.

[Ord. 607, 9/20/1999, § 3]
1. 
Any construction hereinafter undertaken requiring a building permit shall have one or more fire detecting devices installed in accordance with the Borough's building code. All fire detecting devices shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times other than when they are being serviced or tested.
2. 
An alarm system must have one or more audible interior alarms that can be clearly heard throughout the alarm site but shall not be so loud as to cause a nuisance beyond the property line. Whenever reasonably possible in existing alarm systems and in all new alarm systems, audible alarm shall be programmed to sound for no longer than 10 minutes after being activated and shall not reactivate until the alarm system has been reset by the alarm user or his/her representative. The requirement to have an audible alarm shall not apply to duress alarms.
3. 
There shall be no audible exterior alarms on any alarm system or local alarm system, all exterior alarms to be limited to light only. All alarm systems installed after the effective date of this Part may have an external alarm light. All alarm systems existing as of the effective date of this Part having an external audible alarm must disconnect the external audible alarm or convert the external audible alarm to an alarm light by the effective date of this Part.

§ 204 Alarm Company License.

[Ord. 607, 9/20/1999, § 4]
1. 
Alarm companies must be licensed by the Borough in order to provide alarm services in the Borough or to Borough residents. The Borough Manager may suspend or revoke the license of an alarm company for failing to comply with the requirements set forth in this Part.
2. 
Applications for license shall be made on such forms and contain such information as is required by the Borough to demonstrate compliance with this Part. The license will be valid for a period of one-year unless revoked earlier. The application will be accompanied by such fee as may be determined by Council. A list of the alarm sites in the Borough maintained by the alarm company shall accompany each application for a license or license renewal. Such listing shall be sorted by street address.

§ 205 Duties of Alarm Company.

[Ord. 607, 9/20/1999, § 5; as amended by Ord. 610, 2/21/2000, § 2, 3]
1. 
Upon enactment of this Part, alarm companies shall not program alarm systems so that they are capable of sending one plus duress alarms. Alarm companies may continue to report one plus duress alarms received from alarm systems programmed with one plus duress prior to enactment of this Part.
2. 
Upon enactment of this Part, alarm companies shall not install a device activating a panic or duress alarm that is a single-action, non-recessed button.
3. 
Upon enactment of this part, alarm companies must use control panels tested for conformance to the Security Industry Association (SIA) control panel standard — features for false alarm reduction for all new systems and for all replacement systems.
4. 
Alarm companies shall maintain customer databases for all customers in the Borough and all adjoining municipalities that correctly reflect the municipality in which each alarm site is located, and shall assure that an alarm site is in the Borough before issuing an alarm dispatch request to a Borough agency or dispatching agency. Failure to do so shall result in the automatic revocation of the alarm company's license to operate in the Borough.
5. 
An alarm company performing monitoring services shall:
A. 
Offer a training period for alarm users.
B. 
Report alarm signals to the dispatching agency by using telephone numbers designated by the dispatching agency.
C. 
Verify every alarm signal from a residential alarm site (except a duress or panic alarm activation) before requesting a law enforcement or fire department response to the alarm system signal.
D. 
Communicate alarm dispatch requests to the dispatching agency in a manner and form determined by the dispatching agency.
E. 
Communicate cancellations to the dispatching agency designated by the Borough in a manner and form determined by the Borough and/or the dispatching agency.
F. 
Ensure that all alarm users of alarm systems equipped with a duress or panic alarm are given adequate training as to the proper use of the duress or panic alarm.
G. 
Communicate any available information (north, south, front, back, floor, etc.) about the location of any alarm.
H. 
Communicate type of alarm activation (fire or security, silent or audible, interior or perimeter).
I. 
Upon enactment of this Part, alarm companies that perform monitoring services must maintain records relating to each alarm dispatch request for a rolling twelve-month period as long as the license remains in effect. Records must include the name, address and phone number of the alarm user, the alarm system zone(s) activated, the time of alarm dispatch request and evidence of verifying. The Borough may request copies of such records for individually-named alarm users.

§ 206 Intentional False Alarms.

[Ord. 607, 9/20/1999; as added by Ord. 620, 9/17/2001]
No person shall either (1) create an intentional false alarm or (2) create or cause to be created a false alarm through reckless indifference. For purposes hereof, reckless indifference shall mean action or inaction evidencing disregard or indifference to the possibility that a false alarm will occur and will include, but not be limited to, the following: failure to cover or otherwise disarm a detector during a period when work activities (such as painting, sanding, sawing, etc.) will likely cause activation of the alarm.

§ 207 Fines.

[Ord. 607, 9/20/1999, § 6]
1. 
An alarm user shall be subject to a civil citation and a fine of up to $1,000 for failing to meet the requirements of § 203 of this Part. After official notification by the Borough that the alarm system does not comply with § 203 of this Part, each subsequent day that the system fails to meet the requirements of § 203 of this Part shall be considered a separate offense.
2. 
An alarm user shall be subject to a civil citation and a fine of up to $300 for each false alarm in excess of three during any twelve-month period. The Borough may waive or reduce the fine if the alarm user can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Borough that he/she is attempting to eliminate/correct the cause of the false alarms.
3. 
If cancellation occurs prior to law enforcement personnel arriving at the scene or prior to fire department personnel being dispatched, this shall not be counted as a false alarm for the purpose of fines and no fines will be assessed.
4. 
An alarm company may be issued a civil citation and fined up to $1,000 if the personnel responding to the false alarm determine that an employee of the alarm company caused the false alarm. In this situation, the false alarm will not be counted against the alarm user.
5. 
An alarm company may be issued a civil citation and fined up to one $1,000 and have its license revoked for failure to verify prior to dispatching if the Borough determines the existence of a consistent pattern or policy against verification.
6. 
An alarm company may be issued a civil citation and fined up to $1,000 and have its license to operate in the Borough revoked if the Borough determines the existence of a consistent pattern of the alarm company notifying the dispatching agency of an alarm at an alarm site reported to be in the Borough that is actually located in another municipality.
7. 
An alarm company may be issued a civil citation and fined up to $1,000 and have its license revoked if the Borough determines that an alarm company employee made a false statement concerning the inspection of an alarm site or the performance of an alarm system.
8. 
An alarm company may be issued a civil citation and fined up to $1,000 if it installs an alarm system without a valid license.
9. 
Any person may be issued a civil citation and fined up to $1,000 for any other violation of this Part.

§ 208 Authorized Testing.

[Ord. 607, 9/20/1999; as added by Ord. 619, 5/21/2001]
It shall not be a false alarm, nor shall it be a violation of this Section or any other ordinance of the Borough of Fox Chapel to activate an alarm system as part of an authorized test of the alarm system or alarm company. An authorized test shall mean a test where the Borough, the dispatching agency and the relevant law enforcement agency or fire department all receive advance notice of the date, time, location and duration of the test and do not object to the conduct of such test.