Township of Lower Providence, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors 10-11-1983 by Ord. No. 301; readopted 10-4-2001 by Ord. No. 462. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 67.
Smoke detectors — See Ch. 83, Art. II.

§ 52-1 Word usage; definitions.

A. 
Word usage.
(1) 
Words used in the singular include the plural; words in the plural include the singular; and words used in the present tense include the future.
(2) 
The word "shall" is always mandatory.
B. 
The following words, terms and phrases, as used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings given herein, unless the context specifically and clearly indicates otherwise:
ALARM EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER
Any person, firm or corporation who sells or leases and/or installs automatic protection devices.
ANSWERING SERVICE
A service whereby trained employees, in attendance at all times, receive prerecorded voice messages from automatic protection devices reporting an emergency at a stated location and who have the duty to relay immediately by live voice only such emergency message over a designated or direct truck line to the Police and/or Fire Department.
AUDIBLE ALARM
Any device, bell, horn, or siren which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building and emits a warning signal audible outside the building and designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency, requiring police and/or fire personnel to respond.
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
An electrically operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which automatically transmits a prerecorded voice alarm over a regular telephone line by direct or indirect connection to the Police and/or Fire Department, upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of a fire or intrusion.
CENTRAL STATION PROTECTIVE SYSTEM
A protective system, or group of such systems, operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation which maintains supervisors and accepts recorded messages from automatic protection devices at a central station which has trained operators and guards in attendance at all times that have the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of messages by designated or primary trunkline to the Police or Fire Departments.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police of Lower Providence Township.
DESIGNATED TRUNKLINE
A telephone line leading into the Police and/or Fire Department that is for the primary purpose of handling emergency messages which originate from automatic protection devices and are transmitted directly or indirectly through an intermediary.
FALSE ALARM
Any signal activated by an automatic protection device, any audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal given the Police and/or Fire Department to which police and/or firemen respond, which is not the result of a fire, burglary, robbery or similar emergency.
FIRE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
The Montgomery County Communications Center servicing the Lower Providence Volunteer Fire Company.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
The Lower Providence Volunteer Fire Company.
FIRE MARSHAL
The Fire Marshal of Lower Providence Township.
INTERMEDIARY
A central station protective system or an answering service as herein defined.
KEY
To use a telephone line and equipment for transmitting a message either directly or indirectly by an automatic protection device.
PERSON
Any person or persons, male or female, corporation, partnership, association, company, individual, owner, occupant, lessee or any agency, organization or other entity recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Police Department of the Township of Lower Providence.
PRIMARY TRUNKLINE
A telephone line leading into the Police and/or Fire Departments that is for the purpose of handling emergency calls on a person-to-person basis, and which line is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory issued by the Bell of Pennsylvania Telephone Company.
SECONDARY TRUNKLINE
A telephone line leading into the Police and/or Fire Department, that is for the purpose of handling administration calls on a person-to-person basis, and which line is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory issued by the Bell of Pennsylvania Telephone Company.
SECRETARY
The Secretary of the Township of Lower Providence.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Lower Providence.

§ 52-2 Permit required; fee.

A. 
Henceforth, any person who desires to install an answering service, audible alarm, automatic protection device and/or central station protective system within the Township shall, prior thereto, be required to file with the Township an application for permit which shall be accompanied by the required filing fee, and thereafter receive a permit therefor.
[Amended 6-16-2005 by Ord. No. 526]
B. 
In the case of those persons who have previously installed an answering service, audible alarm, automatic protection device and/or central station protective system within the Township, said person shall, within 90 days of the effective date of this chapter, be required to file with the Township an application for permit.

§ 52-3 Application for permit.

The application for permit referred to shall require the applicant to set forth the following:
A. 
The designation of the type of equipment which is desired to be installed, i.e., answering service, audible alarm, automatic protection device, central station protective system, etc.
B. 
The name, address and telephone number of the person requesting installation of such equipment.
C. 
The address where the equipment is to be installed and the telephone number of that address.
D. 
The name, address and telephone number of a central station protective system or any other person or firm who is authorized to respond to an emergency and gain access to the address where the device is installed.
E. 
The name and telephone number of the person who is responsible for maintenance and repair of the automatic protection device.

§ 52-4 Application for permit to be filed in triplicate; confidentiality.

A. 
The application for permit required above is to be filed in triplicate. One copy shall be retained by the Township; one copy shall be on file with the Police Department and one copy shall be on file with the Fire Company.
B. 
All information furnished in the application for permit shall be kept confidential and shall be for the use only of the designated personnel of the Township Police Department and Fire Department.

§ 52-5 Authority to inspect.

As a condition of installing and maintaining an answering service, audible alarm, automatic protection device and/or central station protective system, the person or persons owning and using same shall execute a consent which will authorize the appropriate Township Building Official, Chief of Police and Fire Marshal to enter upon the subject premises, at such reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, to inspect the installation and operation of such equipment.

§ 52-6 Timing mechanisms for audible alarms.

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

§ 52-7 Direct keying.

A. 
No automatic protection device installed after the effective date of this chapter shall be keyed to a primary and/or secondary trunkline.
B. 
After the effective date of this chapter, installations of all automatic protection devices that transmit recorded messages directly to the Police and/or Fire Department shall be keyed to a designated trunkline.
C. 
Within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter, existing automatic protection devices in the Township shall be disconnected from primary and/or secondary trunklines.
D. 
Automatic protection devices disconnected, as provided in Subsection C above, may be keyed to a designated trunkline.

§ 52-8 Indirect keying.

A. 
Any person who has an automatic protection device in the Township may arrange to have such device keyed to an intermediary authorized to relay emergency messages to the Police and/or Fire Department.
B. 
The relay of messages by authorized intermediaries shall be over a designated trunkline.
C. 
Automatic protection devices keyed to an authorized intermediary may also be keyed to another telephone which the owner ox, lessee of the automatic protection device has available to himself or his representative at some other location.

§ 52-9 Current list of installations required.

A. 
Within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter, every alarm equipment supplier who has keyed an automatic protection device in the Township to the designated trunkline shall furnish to the Chief of Police and to the Fire Marshal a current list of such installations which shall include:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the person supplied with such equipment.
(2) 
The address where the device is installed and the telephone number of that address.
(3) 
The name, address and telephone number of a central station protective system or 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 person, if any, other than the alarm equipment supplier who is responsible for maintenance and repair of the automatic protection device.
B. 
By the fifth working day of each month following the submission of the initial list, every alarm equipment supplier shall furnish the Police and Fire Departments with a supplemental list of any additional installations he has keyed to the designed trunklines, along with any corrections to or deletions from lists previously furnished. An alarm equipment supplier who enters into the business after the effective date of this chapter shall furnish a list containing the information specified in Subsection A(3) by the fifth working day of the month following a first installation and shall, thereafter, furnish supplemental lists as required by this section.
C. 
All information furnished pursuant to these sections shall be kept confidential and shall be for the use of the designated persons of the Township, Police Department and Fire Department only.

§ 52-10 Operational requirements.

Automatic protection devices installed in the Township that are keyed to designated trunklines shall meet the following requirements:
A. 
The type and content of recorded messages must be intelligible and in a format approved prior to installation by the Chief of Police or the Fire Chief, as appropriate for the type of emergency. A sample of the content format is available from the office of the Chief of Police of the Fire Chief, upon request.
B. 
No more than one call shall be made over a designated trunkline to the Police and/or Fire Department as a result of a single activation of the automatic protection device.
C. 
The time for transmitting each recorded message shall not exceed 15 seconds.
D. 
Recorded messages may be repeated during one call, but the interval between each recorded message shall be no less than four seconds and not more than eight seconds.
E. 
The sensory mechanism used in connection with an automatic protection device must be adjusted to suppress false indications of fire or intrusion, so that the device will not be activated by impulses due to fleeting pressure changes in water pipes, short flashes of light, the rattling or vibrating of doors and windows, vibrations to the premises caused by the passing of vehicles or any other force not related to genuine alarms.
F. 
All components comprising such a device must be maintained in good repair by the person to assure maximum reliability of operation.

§ 52-11 Technical information.

A. 
Each alarm equipment supplier who sells or leases an automatic protection device in the Township after the effective date of this chapter, which is keyed to a designated trunkline, shall furnish operating instructions, a circuit diagram and maintenance manual to the person owning and/or using said device.
B. 
Each alarm equipment supplier referred to above shall furnish operating instructions, circuit diagram and maintenance manual for each type of automatic protection device he deals in and installs in the Township to the Chief of Police and to the Fire Chief. If the instructions are not clear, the alarm equipment supplier may be required to revise the instructions to the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief and all persons owning and/or using the particular automatic protection device.

§ 52-12 Disconnection of defective devices.

When messages evidencing failure to comply with the operational requirements set forth in § 52-10 and the Board of Supervisors concludes that the automatic protection device sending such messages should be disconnected in order to relieve the particular department of the burden of responding to false alarms, the Board is authorized to demand that the person owning or using the said device or his representative, disconnect the said device until it is made to comply with the operational requirements. [If disconnection of the defective device is not accomplished promptly and the said Board of Supervisors determines that the malfunctioning device is repeatedly sending false alarms without any intermittent valid alarms, the Board may then take any steps necessary to disconnect the defective automatic protection device.]

§ 52-13 Testing.

No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of an automatic protection device without first obtaining permission from the Police and/or Fire Departments. Where the equipment is keyed through an intermediary, no such permission is necessary unless the alarm or signal is to be relayed to the Police and/or Fire Department.

§ 52-14 Repair service.

A. 
Each alarm equipment supplier who sells or leases an automatic protection device in the Township which is keyed to a designated trunkline shall make service available directly or through an agent on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis, seven days a week, to repair such device or to correct any malfunction that may occur. Such service shall be made available for any person using an automatic protection device supplied.
B. 
At the time of installation an alarm equipment supplier shall furnish to any person owning and/or using said device, who uses a repair service, written information as to how service may be obtained at any time, including the telephone number of the alarm equipment supplier or agent responsible for service. The person owning and/or using said device and the alarm equipment supplier or agent supplying a service shall be responsible for having the device disconnected or repaired as quickly as possible after notice that the automatic protection device is not functioning properly.

§ 52-15 Suppliers of equipment and service to furnish copies of chapter.

Alarm equipment suppliers, installers of audible alarms and intermediaries shall furnish at or prior to the time of contracting, and at their expense, a copy of this chapter to the person owning and/or using the equipment or services to be supplied.

§ 52-16 Responsibility for costs of false alarms.

A. 
For the purpose of defraying the costs to the Township of responding to a false alarm, the person owning and/or using an automatic protection device, and person using the services of intermediaries, and users of audible alarms, and users of any kind of direct or indirect connection with the Police and/or Fire Department, except persons using the 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 form as may be prescribed by the Secretary that such owner, lessee or user shall pay the Township for each false alarm resulting in a police or fire response originating from the owner's premises; the following sums:
(1) 
False Fire Alarm. The sum of $100 shall be paid to the Township for the first such violation, $200 for the second violation and $300 for each subsequent violation.
(2) 
Commercial Burglary and Hold-Up Alarms. The sum of $100 for each such violation.
(3) 
Residential Burglary/Panic Alarms. The sum of $50 for each such violation.
B. 
These sums shall be a civil claim by the Township and do not affect the penalty provisions prescribed by § 52-17 hereof.
C. 
Any such person who fails to execute the consent described within the section within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter shall, within the ninety-day period, disconnect the alarm, automatic protection device or any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the Police and/or Fire Department and shall discontinue using the services of any intermediaries.

§ 52-17 False alarms.

A. 
Any person who intentionally sends or conspires to or assists or participates in the sending or transmitting of, by whatever means, a false alarm, for the purpose of activating the Township Police Department or any member or employee thereof, or the Township Fire Company or any member or employee thereof, shall be in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Any person who installs or permits to be installed in any building, used or occupied for any purpose, any answering service, audible alarm, automatic protection device and/or central station protective system, and which equipment is so poorly designed, constructed, regulated, installed or maintained, as a result whereof false alarms are transmitted to the Township Police Department and/or the Township Fire Company, shall be in violation of this chapter.
C. 
Any person who owns, leases or occupies a building which has an answering service, audible alarm, automatic protection device and/or central station protective system installed, and such equipment results in continual accidental activation, then in such case, said person shall be in violation of this chapter. For the purposes of this section, "accidental activation" shall be defined to mean activation of the emergency alarm system which is not the result of a fire, burglary, or similar emergency, and which is unintentional and/or a result of mechanical failure which is other than that defined in Subsection B above, and "continual accidental activation" shall be defined to mean three accidental activations within a twelve-month period.

§ 52-18 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall forfeit and pay a fine or penalty of not more than $300 to the Township, the same to be collected by a summary proceeding before a District Justice, or recovered as debts of like amount are now by law recoverable and, in default of the payment of such fine, shall be liable for imprisonment for not more than 30 days in the Montgomery County Prison.
B. 
Whenever a violator of this chapter has been notified by any of the duly authorized and constituted representatives of the Township, or by service of summons or prosecution, or in any other way that such violator has committed a violation, each day that the violator shall continue in such violation, shall constitute a separate offense punishable by a like fine or penalty.

§ 52-19 Repealer.

All ordinances or resolutions or parts of ordinances or resolutions, insofar as they are inconsistent herewith, be and the same are hereby repealed.

§ 52-20 Severability.

If any sentence, clause, section or part of this chapter is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, by a court of competent jurisdiction, such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections or parts of this chapter. It is hereby declared as the intent of the Board of Supervisors that this chapter would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid sentence, clause, section or part thereof not been included therein.