City of Rockwood, MI
Wayne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Rockwood as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Electrical standards — See Ch. 65.
Noise from burglar alarms — See Ch. 144, § 144-7K.
Tampering with fire alarm boxes — See Ch. 163, § 163-31.
False fire alarms — See Ch. 163, Art. IV.
Fees for fire alarms and smoke detectors — See Ch. A276.
Fines for false alarms — See Ch. A277.
[Adopted 2-18-1981 by Ord. No. 239]

§ 9-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM USER
Any person using the service of, or utilizing or operating or causing to be utilized or operated, a police alarm system.
FALSE ALARM
Any alarm condition registered at the Police Department or elsewhere, not resulting from criminal activity for which the alarm was intended. However, any alarm caused by weather conditions shall not be deemed a false alarm.
POLICE ALARM SYSTEM
Any device designated for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a premises or for the alerting of others of the commission of an unlawful act, or both, which device, when actuated, emits a sound or transmits a signal or message either by or over telephone lines or otherwise.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity.

§ 9-2 Prohibitions.

No person shall use, or cause to be used or operated, any police alarm system which is tapped or tied into the telephone lines or telephone numbers of the City and/or the Police Department, or which automatically calls, dials, communicates or transmits a telephone signal or message to the telephone numbers of the City and/or the Police Department.

§ 9-3 False alarms.

No person shall cause a false alarm of any police alarm system, unless that person reasonably believed that someone was committing an unlawful act and/or unauthorized entry into a premises.

§ 9-4 Exceptions.

This article is not applicable to the City, nor is it applicable to audible alarms affixed to motor vehicles.

§ 9-5 Penalty.

A violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a municipal civil infraction, punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II.
[Adopted 5-18-1994 by Ord. No. 330]

§ 9-6 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM COMPANY
A person, company or other form of entity which sells, installs, operates, adjusts, arranges for or contracts to provide an alarm system that will, upon activation, initiate an alarm assigned to a subscriber of the service signaling entry, smoke, fire or flow requiring Police or Fire Department response.
ALARM SYSTEM
An instrument or an assembly of equipment and devices that is arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention by the Police or Fire Department.
ALARMED PREMISES
Any building, property, premises or motor vehicle equipped with an alarm system.
FALSE ALARM
The activation of a bell, horn, mechanical, electrical or telephone alarm system, or any combination thereof, through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of, or failure of proper maintenance by, the owner or lessee of the alarm system, or his or her employee or agent, which thereby requires police or fire response.

§ 9-7 Registration of alarm systems.

No alarm company shall sell, install, adjust, arrange for or contract to provide an alarm system that will, upon activation, electronically or by other means, initiate a signal from the subscriber's premises to the alarm company which would require response by the Police or Fire Department, without first registering with the City Clerk the name and telephone number of the alarm system subscriber, the address of the premises where the alarm is located and the name and telephone number of at least one other person who can be reached at all times, day or night, and who can, within 30 minutes, open the premises so as to deactivate the alarm or who is able to deactivate the alarm system in some other fashion.

§ 9-8 Fees; warnings.

A. 
To defray the costs of responding to false alarms and to discourage the continuation of repeat false alarms, the alarm company and/or the owner and lessee of any alarmed premises shall be jointly and severally responsible to pay to the City the fees provided for in Chapter A277, Fines and/or Penalties, for each occasion on which the Police Department or the Fire Department responds to a false alarm from the alarmed premises.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
B. 
After the first false alarm, a written warning letter shall be sent, by certified mail, to the property, home and/or premises in question and shall be addressed to the owner and/or lessee of such premises, by the respective department which responded to the false alarm.
C. 
No person shall fail to pay a required false alarm fee.

§ 9-9 Defective alarm systems.

An alarm system experiencing more than four false alarms within one year from the first false alarm shall be deemed to be defective, and, upon written notice to the owner or lessee of the alarm system by the City, the owner or lessee shall have the system inspected by an alarm system contractor who shall, within 15 days of such inspection, file a written report with the City of the results of its inspection of the system, the probable cause of the false alarms and its recommendations for eliminating false alarms. In lieu of such inspection, the owner or lessee shall provide written evidence to the City that the defective alarm system has been replaced. Noncompliance with this requirement shall be deemed to be a violation of this chapter.

§ 9-10 Billing procedure.

The Police Department and the Fire Department shall, monthly, provide a list of all false alarms, identifying the alarmed premises and the responsible alarm company, owners and/or lessees. The City Treasurer shall bill each responsible alarm company, owner or lessee for the amounts due. All amounts billed by the City Treasurer under this chapter shall be due within 30 days after each billing. The City Treasurer is hereby authorized to initiate collection procedures for any overdue amounts.

§ 9-11 Appeals; authority of City Administrator.

A. 
Any owner or lessee of an alarmed premises may appeal the assessment of a false alarm fee to the City Administrator. Such appeal shall be in writing, shall be filed with the City Administrator within 10 days after written notification of the assessment by the City Treasurer and shall state adequate and verifiable facts showing that the false alarm occurred under circumstances that could not be reasonably anticipated or controlled by the owner or lessee of the alarmed premises. The City Administrator shall render a decision on the appeal within 15 days after receiving the written appeal and shall notify, in writing, the appellant and the City Treasurer of his or her decision.
B. 
The decision of the City Administrator may be reviewed upon written request by the appellant to Council within 10 days after receipt of written notification of the City Administrator's decision.
C. 
A review by the decision-makers in the appeal process shall, at a minimum, include:
(1) 
Whether the records or logs of the City support the occurrence of the alarm;
(2) 
Whether the response required any action on the part of the Police or Fire Department;
(3) 
The history of alarms made from the same location;
(4) 
The sufficiency of rebuttal evidence contending that the alarm was not due to mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or negligent or improper maintenance, i.e. the inspection report from the alarm repair person indicating that nothing was wrong with the alarm;
(5) 
Evidence regarding the applicability of any exemption in this chapter; and
(6) 
Evidence that the alarm was repaired as a response to notice from the City. Repair within two weeks of notice may be sufficient to dismiss the assessment of a false alarm fee.

§ 9-12 Exceptions.

The following circumstances shall not constitute a false alarm, and no fee established in this chapter shall be assessed therefor:
A. 
Alarms activated by a person working on the alarm system with prior notification to the Police Department and/or the Fire Department;
B. 
Alarms activated by damage to public utility lines, when the affected public utility corroborates that the damage to such lines caused the alarm;
C. 
Alarms activated by hurricane, tornado, earthquake, vandalism or other violent condition beyond the control of the owner or lessee of the alarm system or of his or her employee or agent; or
D. 
Alarms activated in premises where, by the nature of the activity engaged therein, Police or Fire Department response would be automatic, i.e., churches, hospitals, senior citizen homes or care facilities, community centers and City Hall. The Police Chief shall provide a list of said exempted premises to the City Clerk.

§ 9-13 Penalty.

A violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a municipal civil infraction, punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II.