Township of Uwchlan, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Uwchlan 9-12-1994 by Ord. No. 94-12. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 166.

§ 82-1 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
ALARM SUPPLIER
The business by an individual, partnership, corporation or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, monitoring or installing any alarm system or causing any alarm system to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved, installed or monitored in or on any building, structure or other facility.
ALARM SYSTEM
Any assembly of equipment, mechanical, electrical or battery-operated, arranged to signal the occurrence of a police, fire, hazard, or medical emergency requiring immediate attention and to which police or fire units are expected to respond.
ANSWERING SERVICE
A service whereby trained employees, in attendance at all times, receive prerecorded voice messages from automatic dialing devices reporting an emergency at a stated location, where such employees have the duty to relay immediately by live voice any such emergency message over a 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 and/or exterior of a building, structure or facility and emits a warning signal which is audible outside the building, structure or facility and is designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring Police or Fire Department response.
AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
A device which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to transmit a signal by a voice coded message that indicates that an emergency condition exists and the need for an emergency response is required.
CENTRAL STATION
A protective system or group of such systems operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation which accepts recorded messages from automatic dialing devices at a central station having 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 messages to the communications center of the Police or Fire Department.
COORDINATOR
An individual/designee named by and accountable directly and solely to the Chief of Police.
EMERGENCY
A police, fire, hazard, or medical emergency.
A. 
An alarm(s) activated in the absence of an emergency, whether willfully or by in advertence, negligence, or an unintentional act, including the malfunction of the alarm system, to which the Uwchlan Township Police Department responds. The definition excludes alarm(s) caused by malfunctions of the Chester County Department of Emergency Services receiving equipment if such alarm is directly connected to the alarm board; testing or repairing of telephone or electrical lines or equipment outside the premises; acts of God, such an earthquake, flood, windstorm, thunder, or lightning; an attempted illegal entry of which there is visible evidence; a crime in progress; or, in the case of an emergency medical alarm, an actual medical emergency requiring police, fire and/or medical personnel. If doubt exists as to the cause of the false alarm, the Chief of Police or his designee shall have and make the final decision regarding the circumstances of the activation.
B. 
Multiple alarms received by the Police Department before the system can be deactivated within a reasonable period of time shall be considered a single alarm.
C. 
The definition of a false alarm(s) also includes the intentional activation of a holdup alarm for other than a holdup in progress, the intentional activation of a burglary alarm for other than a burglary, the activation of a medical alarm for other than a medical emergency, or the intentional activation of a fire alarm for other than a fire or hazard.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Any fire department, ambulance or rescue unit providing services within Uwchlan Township.
FIRE EMERGENCY
A fire.
HAZARD EMERGENCY
An explosion, leak of toxic gas, liquid or solid, or a potential explosion or leak.
INTERMEDIARY
A central station protective system or answering service as herein defined.
KEY
To use a telephone line and equipment for transmitting a message either directly or indirectly by an automatic dialing device.
MEDICAL EMERGENCY
An emergency involving the health of a person.
PERMIT
Written permission duly granted to an applicant by the Township upon payment of the required fee.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Uwchlan Township Police Department.
POLICE EMERGENCY
An incident requiring prompt response by the Police Department.
POLICE AND FIRE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
The police and fire communications area and other facilities which house communications equipment and the police radio dispatcher.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The administrative head of the Uwchlan Township Police Department.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Uwchlan, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
TRUNK LINES
A telephone line leading into the communications centers of the Police and Fire Departments that is for the purpose of handling calls on a person-to-person basis and which is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory issued by the telephone company.

§ 82-2 Alarms without timing mechanisms prohibited.

On and after the effective date of this chapter, owners or users of audible alarms must equip such audible alarms with a timing mechanism that will disengage the audible alarm after a maximum of 15 minutes. Audible alarms without such a timing mechanism shall be unlawful in the Township and must be disconnected by the owner or user within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter.

§ 82-3 Direct keying of automatic dialing devices.

On and after the effective date of this chapter, all automatic dialing devices that transmit recorded messages directly to the Police Department or Fire Department shall be keyed to the Chester County Department of Emergency Services Radio Room, only with its prior approval.

§ 82-4 Listing of installations.

A. 
Within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter, every alarm supplier who has installed an alarm system in the Township, fire, burglar or other, shall furnish to the Police Department the following information:
(1) 
The name, residence and telephone number of the owner or user.
(2) 
The address where the device is installed and the telephone number at that address.
(3) 
The name, address and the telephone number(s) of 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 any other person or supplier who is responsible for maintenance and repair of the system.
(5) 
The type of system, i.e., holdup, burglary, fire or medical emergency.
B. 
Users of alarm system devices whose devices were installed prior to the effective date of this chapter shall, within 60 days after such enactment, supply the Uwchlan Police Department with the information specified in Subsection A(4).
C. 
All information furnished pursuant to this section shall be kept confidential and shall be for the authorized use of the Department of Emergency Services and of the Police Department or its authorized agent.

§ 82-5 Licensing.

A. 
On and after the effective date of this chapter, no one except an alarm supplier holding a valid license from the Township shall sell, install, service or monitor any alarm within the Township.
B. 
The coordinator shall issue an alarm supplier's license to an alarm supplier meeting the requirements of this § 82-5 upon the filing of the required application and payment of a fee. The fee structure is as follows: Any alarm supplier who applies for a first-time license, prior to June 30 of that calendar year, shall be required to pay the full fee. However, any first-time applications being submitted after June 30 shall be required to pay 1/2 of the fee. Each license shall bear the signature of the Coordinator and be renewed annually. A copy of the license shall be displayed at each location and shall be made available for inspection upon request by the Chief of Police or by the Coordinator.
C. 
Each alarm supplier that installs one or more alarm system(s) in the Township shall make service available directly or through an agent on a twenty-four-hours-per-day basis, seven days a week, to repair such devices and to correct malfunctions as they occur. Any person using an alarm system shall make arrangements for service to be available for such device on a twenty-four-hours-per-day, seven-days-per-week basis.
D. 
No corporation, sole proprietor, partner, joint venture, trustee, executor, administrator, employee, fiduciary or stockholder with a five-percent or greater interest in a corporation (except a corporation whose stock is publicly traded and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or with a state securities commission) applying for a license shall have been convicted of a felony or pleaded nolo contendere to a felony charge or indictment. Applicant must furnish a criminal history from the State of Pennsylvania with his application.
E. 
The applicant shall furnish an insurance certificate annually confirming that the applicant has in force general liability insurance coverage in an amount of not less than $300,000 for each occurrence. An applicant who self-insures such coverage shall furnish evidence of financial ability by showing that he is bonded for at least $300,000 or by a suitable letter of financial responsibility, providing that the letter is acceptable to the Township.
F. 
A licensee shall pay an annual license fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. Except as specified in Subsection B, the annual fee is to be paid no later than the last day of February in each calendar year.
[Amended 3-24-1997 by Ord. No. 97-5[1]]
(1) 
No alarm supplier's license shall be required:
(a) 
Where no alarm permit is required; or
(b) 
When the installation of such alarm system shall be made in total personally by the owner or occupant of the premises, except if same is monitored off premises or by a company providing (monitoring) service.
(2) 
A license may be revoked or renewal denied if:
(a) 
The licensee fails to meet the requirements necessary to obtain a license;
(b) 
The license fee is not paid;
(c) 
The Chief of Police or his designee has reason to believe the licensee's installations are the cause of false alarms;
(d) 
Licensee fails to provide emergency service as required by this chapter; or
(e) 
Licensee fails to provide updated listing of current customers.
(3) 
Any licensee who fails to met the requirements as stated in Subsection F, upon conviction, shall be subject to a criminal fine not to exceed $1,000, together with the cost of prosecution and reasonable attorneys' fees. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Enforcement of this section shall be by action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of a summary offense under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Township's Solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 82-6 Permit fees.

A. 
The user's fee for an alarm system permit shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, and said permit shall be obtained from the Uwchlan Township Police Department prior to installation of the alarm system.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
The permit shall bear the signature of the Chief of Police or the Coordinator and be valid for the same period that the applicant shall reside/locate the business upon the premises at which the system is installed, or until revoked by the Chief of Police or the Coordinator. The permit shall be physically present upon the premises using the alarm system and shall be available for inspection by Uwchlan Police Department personnel.
C. 
The permit application shall contain the address of the property, the name of the residence/business (if applicable), the name of the owner, tenant or agent responsible for the property, the alarm supplier or other entity responsible for maintaining the system (if applicable), the type of alarm (burglary, holdup, fire, medical), how the alarm signal will be received by the communications center (tape, central station, etc.), at least three alternate emergency telephone numbers of persons to be contacted to secure the property and any additional information as determined necessary. In the case of fire alarm permits for other than a single-family residence, the applicant must submit with permit application detailed plans for any fire alarm and suppression system that is to be permitted/installed. These plans are to be reviewed and approved by the Township Fire Marshal prior to the issuance of any permit. Construction or installation may not begin without permit. The issuance of the permit is not a final approval by the Township Fire Marshal for the proposed system. Final approval may be given only at the completion, inspection and conformance to all codes and requirements. It shall be the owner's responsibility to amend the foregoing information whenever the information changes.
D. 
Exceptions:
(1) 
An alarm user who is over the age of 65 and is the primary occupant of a residence, and if no business is conducted at the residence, may obtain a user's permit from the Township without paying the above-stated fee.
E. 
Any user who fails to obtain a permit within 60 days after the effective date of this chapter or who fails to pay the registration fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, if later, shall be liable to pay a late charge penalty for each calendar year that the permit is not obtained and shall be subject to a criminal fine in an amount not to exceed $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution and reasonable attorneys' fees. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Enforcement of this section shall be by action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of a summary offense under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Township's Solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney.
[Amended 3-24-1997 by Ord. No. 97-5[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
F. 
All locations in the Township of Uwchlan equipped with alarm systems, except as stated in this chapter, must apply for and be issued valid permits for same.
G. 
Users may only use an alarm supplier who is licensed to conduct business within Uwchlan Township and who holds a current/valid alarm suppliers' license. Any user who fails to utilize a licensed alarm supplier shall be subject to a criminal fine not to exceed $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution and reasonable attorneys' fees. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Enforcement of this section shall be by action brought before a Magisterial District Justice in the same manner provided for the enforcement of a summary offense under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Township's Solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney.
[Amended 3-24-1997 by Ord. No. 97-5[3]]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 82-7 No permit required for certain audible alarm systems.

A. 
A battery-powered (9 volt, 11.2 volt, or similar voltage) audible alarm system whose sole purpose is to notify the occupants at that location of an emergency situation shall be exempt from the permit requirements of this chapter if all of the following conditions exist:
(1) 
The alarm is not connected to any mechanical or electrical device that automatically notifies a person or agency outside of that location that the alarm is activated.
(2) 
The audible alarm does not sound outside of the location (no external speakers or annunciators).
(3) 
The internal signal emitted by the audible alarm does not exceed 90 decibels.
(4) 
The internal alarm does not cause undue annoyance or alarm to occupants of adjoining premises.
B. 
Alarm users who are not required to pay a fee or who are exempt from obtaining an alarm user's permit as above shall, nevertheless, be subject to the penalty provisions prescribed in this chapter.
C. 
After the effective date of this chapter, no one except an alarm supplier holding a valid license from the Township shall install any alarm system within the confines of the Township.

§ 82-8 Technical information.

Each alarm supplier who, after the effective date of this chapter, sells or leases in the Township an alarm system shall furnish operating instructions and a manual of operations to the buyer or lessee.

§ 82-9 Inspection of devices.

A. 
The public safety requires that the incidence of false alarms and malfunctioning automatic dialing devices be minimal so as to reduce unnecessary calls to the Police Department and to increase the effectiveness of properly functioning alarm systems. It is necessary that appropriate Township officials have the right to inspect the installation and operation of any alarm system installed within the Township.
B. 
Application for a permit for the installation of an alarm system and subsequent installation of such a system pursuant to a permit issued or the continuance of the use of any alarm system already installed at the effective date of this chapter shall constitute consent by the owner or lessee thereof and authorization for inspection by the Chief of Police or the Coordinator.
C. 
All such entries upon the premises where an alarm system is installed and all such inspections of the installation and operation of alarm systems shall be at reasonable notice, except in emergency situations.

§ 82-10 Conformance with installation, inspection and testing standards.

Every alarm supplier selling, leasing or furnishing to any user, or a user who privately installs an alarm system which is located on premises within the Township, shall:
A. 
Be permitted to install only equipment that is listed by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc. as being electrically safe and meeting the Township requirements for the alarm system. Wiring for the alarm system must conform with all applicable national, BOCA, electrical and Township codes.
B. 
Be required to cause each alarm system installed to be provided with standby battery power which shall automatically and immediately take over in the event of a power failure.
C. 
Be required to install equipment in such a way as to neutralize electrical surges.
D. 
Be required to deactivate any alarm system within a reasonable period of time.

§ 82-11 Notification preceding device testing.

No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of any alarm system without first notifying the shift supervisor of the Uwchlan Township Police and/or fire radio network, whichever is appropriate, via the Police or Fire Department's designated dispatch center.

§ 82-12 Alarm supplier to furnish copy of law.

Alarm suppliers and installers shall furnish at their own expense, at or prior to the time of contracting, a copy of this chapter to owners, lessees, or users of the equipment or services to be supplied.

§ 82-13 False alarms.

A. 
Consent to pay costs; schedule of costs: For the purpose of defraying the costs to the Police Department for responding to false alarms, the owner, lessee or user of any alarm system, persons using the services of an intermediary, users of audible alarms and users of any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the police or fire communications center, except persons using two-way live voice communication by telephone, shall, as a condition to installation and continued operation of such equipment or service, execute a consent in such forms as may be prescribed by the Township that such owner, lessee or user shall pay the Township costs as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors for each false alarm originating from the owner's, lessee's, or user's premises.
[Amended 4-12-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-03[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Failure to comply. Any such owner, lessee, or user who fails to execute the consent described in Subsection A within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter shall, within the ninety-day period, disconnect the alarm system.
C. 
Any owner, lessee, or user of an alarm system may revoke or refuse to consent as set forth in Subsection A, above only by disconnecting the alarm system. With respect to such systems installed at the effective date of this chapter, the owner, lessee or user can refuse to revoke the aforesaid consent by disconnecting such alarm within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter and providing written notification of such disconnection.
D. 
Penalties provided for false alarms that are relayed or transmitted by an intermediary shall be the responsibility of the owner or user of the alarm system.
E. 
Any police officer responding to an alarm which is determined to be false shall promptly notify the Chief of Police or his designee of such alarm in writing and shall (if practical) leave notification of such false alarm at the scene of the alarm.
F. 
By submitting an application for permit for the installation of a burglary, fire, medical or other emergency alarm system and the subsequent installation of such a system or by the continuation of the use of an alarm system already installed at the effective date of this chapter, the owner, lessee or user thereof shall agree that such permit application constitutes a waiver by such person of the right to bring or file any action, claim or complaint whatsoever against any police officer or emergency personnel who makes a forced entry in response to such an alarm into the premises on which such an alarm is installed, as result of entry into the subject premises. In the event the owner of such premises is a person other than the permit applicant, as in the instance of a lessee or other user not the owner of the premises on which the alarm is installed, such permit application shall constitute an indemnification agreement by the applicant to hold harmless any such police officer of emergency personnel, the Township, the Police Department and the Fire Department, as appropriate, from any and all damages whatsoever claimed by the lessor or owner of the premises on which the alarm is installed.
G. 
Any alarm system which has four or more false alarms within a calendar month shall be subject to permit revocation.
(1) 
The Chief of Police or his designee shall notify the alarm user and the alarm supplier providing the service to the user by first class, postage prepaid, certified mail, of such fact and direct that the user submit a report to the Chief of Police within five days of receipt of the notice describing actions taken or to be taken to determine and eliminate the cause of the false alarms.
(2) 
If the alarm user submits a report as directed, the Chief of Police shall determine if the action taken or to be taken will substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms; he shall notify the alarm user in writing that his permit will not be revoked at this time and that if one more false alarm occurs within the month, the user's permit may be revoked.
(3) 
If no report is submitted, or if the Chief of Police determines that the action taken or to be taken will not substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms, the Chief of Police shall give notice to the user that the permit will be revoked without further notice.

§ 82-14 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 3-24-1997 by Ord. No. 97-5[1]]
A. 
Any person, firm or corporation who violates or permits a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be invoiced by the Chief of Police or his designee and shall, within 30 days, pay the fee as stated in § 82-13. Any person firm or corporation who or which fails to make the required payment within the allotted time period(s) shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, including reasonable attorneys' fees. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each ten-day period during which failure to comply continues shall constitute a separate offense. The Township's Solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney.
B. 
Any person found guilty of willful false activation of an alarm system shall be subject to a criminal fine in an amount of not to exceed $1,000, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the Township. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Enforcement of this section shall be by action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of a summary offense under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Township's Solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).