Township of Lower Gwynedd, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Theft of vehicles — See Vehicle Code Section 7101 et seq.
Theft generally — See Crimes Code Section 3901 et seq.
False alarms to agencies of public safety — See Crimes Code Section 4905.
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees for false alarms — See Ch. 208, Section 208.01.

§ 1460.01 Short title.

[Ord. 226. Passed 9-16-1986]
This chapter shall be known as the "Alarm Systems Ordinance of the Township" or just the "Alarm Systems Ordinance."

§ 1460.02 Definitions.

[Ord. 226. Passed 9-16-1986]
As used in this chapter:
(a) 
"Alarm equipment supplier" means any person who sells, leases and/or installs automatic protection devices or audible alarm systems.
(b) 
"Alarm user" means any person in control of a premises having an audible alarm system or automatic protection device which notifies the Police Department or Fire Department, either directly or indirectly, and requires the response of the Police Department or Fire Department or a rescue company.
(c) 
"Answering service" means a service whereby trained employees who are in attendance at all times receive pre-recorded messages or signals from automatic protection devices reporting an emergency at a stated location, which employees have the duty to relay immediately, by live voice, any such emergency to the Police Department or Fire Department or rescue company.
(d) 
"Audible alarm" means any device, bell, horn or siren which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building, which emits a warning signal audible outside the building and which is designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring police, fire-fighters or a rescue company to respond.
(e) 
"Automatic protection device" means an electrically operated instrument, composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware, which automatically transmits a pre-recorded voice alarm over a regular telephone line by direct or indirect connections to the Police Department or Fire Department, a central station protective system or an answering service, upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of a fire, intrusion or other hazard.
(f) 
"Central station protective system" means a protective system or group of such systems which is operated privately for customers by a person and which maintains supervisors and accepts recorded messages or signals from automatic protection devices at a central station having trained operators and guards in attendance at all times that have the duty to take appropriate action upon the receipt of a message or signal, including the relaying of messages by a designated or direct trunk line to the communications center of the Police Department.
(g) 
"False alarm" means any signal activated by an automatic protection device, any audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal given to the police or fire communications center to which police or fire-fighters or rescue companies respond, which signal or alarm is not the result of a burglary, fire, robbery or similar emergency.
(h) 
"Fire Department" means any fire department which responds to alarms within the Township.
(i) 
"Police Department" means the Police Department of the Township.
(j) 
"Secretary" means the Secretary of the Township.
(k) 
"Treasurer" means the Treasurer of the Township.

§ 1460.03 Registration.

[Ord. 226. Passed 9-16-1986]
(a) 
No property owner, lessee of property or person otherwise occupying any premises within the Township shall put an automatic protection device or audible alarm system into operation on his or her premises or allow an automatic protection device or audible alarm system to be put into operation on his or her premises without first registering the alarm system with the Township.
(b) 
Within thirty days after the effective date of this chapter (Ordinance 226, passed September 16, 1986), every alarm user shall register with the Township each alarm system he or she operates within the Township. This subsection does not require an alarm equipment supplier to register under this section when such alarm equipment supplier leases or provides services to alarm system users. If an alarm equipment supplier does, however, use an alarm system to protect its own premises, it shall register such system as required in this section.
(c) 
Alarm user registration procedure is as follows:
(1) 
The alarm user making the registration required in subsection (a) hereof shall complete the registration form provided by the Township, which form shall include the alarm user's name, the address of the residence or business in or upon which the alarm system has or will be installed, the alarm user's telephone number, the type of alarm system, the alarm equipment supplier selling, installing, monitoring, inspecting, responding to and/or maintaining the alarm system the central station protective system utilized, if any, and the name and telephone number of at least two other persons who can be reached at any time, who are authorized to respond to an alarm system and who will respond and open the premises in which the system is installed.
(2) 
If the alarm system is to be leased or rented from, or is to be serviced pursuant to a service agreement by, a person other than the person making application for an alarm user permit, the name, address and telephone number of that person must be stated in the application.
(3) 
Each person submitting an application for an alarm user permit shall submit a signed statement in the following form: I/We, the undersigned applicant(s) for an alarm user permit, intending to be legally bound hereby, agree with the Township of Lower Gwynedd that neither I/we nor anyone claiming by, through or under me/us, shall make any claim against the Township of Lower Gwynedd, its officials or agents, for any damage caused to the premises at which the automatic protective device or audible alarm system is located when said system is activated and employees of the Township of Lower Gwynedd make a forced entry at a time when said premises are or appear to be unattended or when, in the discretion of said employees, the circumstances appear to warrant a forced entry.
(d) 
Any alarm user who installs an automatic protection device or audible alarm system thirty days or more after the effective date of this section (Ordinance 226, passed September 16, 1986) shall submit with the registration a certificate of an alarm equipment supplier stating that, in the opinion of such supplier, the automatic protection device or audible alarm system complies with this chapter.
(e) 
Any alarm user who has registered under this chapter shall promptly notify the Township of any change in information supplied on the alarm user permit application.

§ 1460.04 Timing mechanisms.

[Ord. 226. Passed 9-16-1986]
Owners or lessees of premises equipped with audible alarms must equip such audible alarms with a timing mechanism that will disengage the audible alarm after a maximum period of fifteen minutes and keep it disengaged until the alarm is serviced or reset. Audible alarms without such a timing mechanism are unlawful in the Township and must be deactivated by the owners or lessees of the premises within sixty days from the effective date of this chapter.

§ 1460.05 Remote controlled fences and gates.

[Ord. 226. Passed 9-16-1986]
Owners or lessees of premises equipped with gates, fences or other devices which are designed to prevent entry and are electronically controlled from a location such as a residence or other principal building, shall ensure that when an audible alarm or automatic protection device is activated, the gate, fence or other device will open to allow entry of the Police Department, Fire Department or rescue company.

§ 1460.06 False alarm fees.

[Ord. 226. Passed 9-16-1986]
In order to defray the costs to the Township of responding to false alarms, the fees provided for in Section 208.01(a) shall be imposed against an alarm user after response to each false alarm. After an alarm user has accumulated two responded false alarms, the Police Department shall bill the alarm user. The alarm user shall promptly forward payment to the Treasurer of the Township within ten days of the date of the bill.

§ 1460.07 Effect of chapter on pending proceedings.

[Ord. 226. Passed 9-16-1986]
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding pending in any court, any rights acquired or liability incurred, any permit issued or any cause of action existing under the ordinances of the Township prior to the enactment of this chapter.

§ 1460.08 Violations.

[Ord. 226. Passed 9-16-1986]
(a) 
No person shall fail to comply with the requirements of a written notice of violation of any of the provisions of this chapter within ten days of receipt of such notice, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Such notice shall continue in force and effect until there is full compliance with the requirements stated therein.
(b) 
No person shall misuse or falsely activate an alarm system. Each misuse or false activation shall constitute a separate offense.
(c) 
No alarm user shall install or permit to be installed an alarm system in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day that a violation occurs or continues after due notice has been given.

§ 1460.09 Key lock box systems.

[Ord. 425. Passed 7-20-2004]
(a) 
Commercial, industrial or institutional buildings which are secured in a manner that restricts access during an emergency shall be equipped with a key lock box at or near the main entrance to the building or such other location designated or required by the Fire Marshal.
(b) 
All newly constructed buildings subject to this section shall have a key lock box installed and operational prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit. All buildings in existence on the effective date of this section and subject to this section shall have one year from the effective date of this section to have a key lock box installed and operational.
(c) 
The Township shall designate the type of key lock box to be implemented within the Township and shall have the authority to require all buildings to use the designated system. The Fire Marshal, the fire companies designated by the Township as the Fire Department and the Lower Gwynedd Township Police Department shall be the only entities permitted to possess a key to the key lock box.
(d) 
The owner or tenant of a building required to have a key lock box shall, at all times, keep the following items in the key lock box:
(1) 
Keys to locked points of egress, whether on the interior or exterior of such building.
(2) 
Keys to locked mechanical equipment rooms.
(3) 
Keys to locked electrical rooms.
(4) 
Keys to elevator controls.
(5) 
Keys to locked elevator rooms.
(6) 
Keys to elevator cab doors.
(7) 
Keys to any fenced or secure area, including entrance gates.
(8) 
Keys to any other area as directed by the Fire Marshal.
(9) 
Other items deemed necessary by the Fire Marshal to function in the subject building or occupancy during an emergency, including but not limited to building plans, operating manuals and special instructions/information.
(e) 
The Township may implement rules and regulations for the use of the lock box system.

§ 1460.99 Penalty. [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: See Section 1420.99 for general Code penalty if no specific penalty is provided.