Town of Elma, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Elma 3-16-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention — See Ch. 79.

§ 43-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Elma by reducing the number of avoidable alarms of fire, intrusion, holdup or other emergencies which contribute to ineffective utilization of police and fire emergency agencies, require emergency responses which are susceptible to high accident rates, interfere with genuine emergencies (responses) and produce unnecessary alarm noise to the surrounding community.

§ 43-2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings as defined below:
ALARM SYSTEM
A device, whether singular or multiple units, or an assembly of equipment which is designed to detect smoke, abnormal rise in temperature, fire, medical emergency or an entry into or exit from a building, structure or facility, and by reason thereof emits audible response intended to alert persons outside of the premises and/or transmit a signal or message to an emergency agency either directly or through a private answering point.
AUTOMATIC DIALER
A device that automatically dials and relays a prerecorded message to an emergency agency.
EMERGENCY AGENCY
The police agency or fire company, central fire dispatch or other emergency dispatch center.
[Amended 10-19-2005]

§ 43-3 Compliance required.

The owners and lessees of premises having alarm systems shall comply with all provisions of this chapter on or before the day of adoption, 1994.

§ 43-4 Automatic cutoff system required.

A. 
No person shall install or maintain an external audible alarm device which does not contain an operational automatic cutoff system which turns off the external audible alarm after a period not to exceed 10 minutes.
B. 
An automatic dialer connected directly to an emergency agency shall automatically disconnect and/or terminate its message after the message has been transmitted a maximum of two times. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, the total transmission time of all messages shall not exceed five minutes.

§ 43-5 Avoidable alarms.

A. 
The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, intentional act or the negligence of the owner, user, custodian or lessee of an alarm system or of his invitees or employees requiring an emergency response when in fact an emergency does not exist constitutes an avoidable alarm. An avoidable alarm also includes intentional activation of an alarm system when the activator knows an emergency situation does not exist.
B. 
An avoidable alarm does not include alarms activated by violent conditions of nature or similar causes beyond the control of the user, owner or operator of the system. The activation of an alarm system under any circumstances in which the activator reasonably believes that an emergency situation exists shall not be deemed to be an avoidable alarm.

§ 43-6 Charges for avoidable alarms.

An owner or lessee of real property to which an emergency agency responds as a result of an avoidable alarm shall pay a fee for each such response in each calendar year as follows:
Emergency Service Response
Avoidable Alarm Responses
Charge
1 to 2
No charge
3 to 5
$50 each
6 and over
$100 each

§ 43-7 Notice of excessive use.

[Amended 10-19-2005]
The owner or lessee of real property which received an emergency response by reason of an avoidable alarm shall be notified, in writing, by means of first-class mail of all avoidable alarms up to two police agency and/or fire alarms in a calendar year. The letter shall inform the owner or lessee of the times and types of emergency responses provided to the address location; the letter shall be forwarded to the address location and/or the last known residence and shall include a copy of the alarm code.

§ 43-8 Notice of violation and review.

The Building Inspector shall forward a letter of violation to the owner or lessee upon the occurrence of the third avoidable alarm and thereafter, indicating the applicable fine. To challenge the classification of an alarm as an avoidable alarm, the real property owner or lessee thereof shall, in writing, notify the Building Inspector within 20 days after receipt of notice of the avoidable alarm. Failure to give timely notice shall be deemed a waiver of the right to review the determination of avoidable alarm.

§ 43-9 Payment of charges.

[Amended 10-19-2005]
Avoidable alarm fees or charges shall be paid to the Town Clerk of the Town of Elma at 1600 Bowen Road, Elma, New York 14059.

§ 43-10 Failure to remit fee.

Failure of a real property owner or lessee of property on which an alarm system is installed to pay the avoidable alarm charge within 30 days from notice of the amount due shall result in said owner or lessee being deemed served with a summons and shall be in violation with this chapter.

§ 43-11 Enforcement.

The Building Inspector shall enforce this chapter for alarm systems which detect medical emergencies and entry or exit from a building, structure or facility and for alarm systems which detect smoke, fire or abnormal rise in temperature.

§ 43-12 Penalties for offenses.

Any person, business, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other entity that does not pay the fee as established in this code or who violates any other provision of this code shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during which a violation occurs, continues or is permitted.