Township of East Whiteland, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Whiteland 12-8-1980 by Ord. No. 64-80. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention — See Ch. 90.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 133.

§ 50-1 Short title.

This chapter shall be known as "The East Whiteland Township Automatic Protection Device Ordinance."

§ 50-2 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply to the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter.
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 is designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring police or fire company response.
[Amended 8-14-1989]
AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
A device which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to transmit a signal by a voice or coded message that indicates that an emergency condition exists and the need for an emergency response is required.
[Added 12-23-1991]
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
Any electrically or battery operated apparatus, equipment or instrument and related hardware which automatically transmits or sends any form of alarm or signal, including, but not limited to, a prerecorded voice alarm or coded message, from the premises on which the device is located to a police communications center or a central station protective system or similar facility upon activation by or receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of fire, intrusion or other emergency activity.
[Amended 12-23-1991]
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE SUPPLIER
Any person, firm, or corporation who sells or leases, and/or installs automatic protection devices.
CENTRAL STATION PROTECTIVE SYSTEM
A protective system operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation which accepts recorded signals or messages from automatic protection devices at a central station having personnel 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 a police communications center.
[Added 12-23-1991]
FALSE ALARM
Any signal activated by an automatic protection device, any audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal given to the County Radio Network to which police or fire company respond, which is not the result of a burglary, fire, robbery, or similar emergency.
[Amended 8-14-1989]
KEY
To use a telephone or recording equipment to transmit a message either directly or indirectly by an automatic protection device.
PERSON
Any person, firm, corporation, or other entity.
POLICE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
Police communications rooms and facilities which house communications equipment and police radio dispatchers, including, but not limited to, the Chester County Radio Network.
[Added 12-23-1991]
TOWNSHIP
The Township of East Whiteland, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

§ 50-3 Audible alarm restrictions.

A. 
After the enactment of this chapter, no person, including owners or lessees of audible alarm protection devices or premises upon which the same are maintained, may key such alarm to the East Whiteland Township Police Radio Network or the Pennsylvania State Police Network. Such alarms may, however, be keyed to the Chester County Radio Network.
[Amended 8-14-1989]
B. 
Audible alarms on location and not keyed to a Chester County Radio Network may be installed upon premises within the Township, subject to the regulations provided for in this chapter.
[Amended 8-14-1989]
C. 
Audible alarm protection devices on location must be equipped with a timing device which will disconnect the alarm after a maximum period of 15 minutes. Audible alarms without such a device will be unlawful in the Township and must be disconnected by the owner or lessee within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter.

§ 50-4 Direct keying of automatic protection devices.

[Amended 8-14-1989]
A. 
No automatic protection device installed after the effective date of this chapter shall be keyed to the East Whiteland Township Radio Network or the Pennsylvania State Police Radio Network.
B. 
Within 60 days after the effective date of this chapter all existing automatic protection devices that transmit messages to the East Whiteland Township Police Radio Network or to the Pennsylvania State Police Network shall be keyed to the Chester County Radio Network.
C. 
Automatic protection devices installed after the effective date of this chapter shall be keyed to the Chester County Radio Network.

§ 50-5 Keying of automatic protection devices to private receivers.

[Amended 12-23-1991]
It shall be permissible for the owner(s), lessee(s) or user(s) of automatic protection devices to key alarms to a telephone or radio system which is available to them for communication and/or transmittal to a central station protective system or similar private agency, subject to the regulations set forth in this chapter.

§ 50-6 Operational requirements for automatic protection devices.

[Amended 8-14-1989]
Automatic protection devices installed in the Township that are keyed to the Chester County Radio Network shall meet the following requirements:
A. 
The type and content of recorded messages must be intelligible and in a format approved, prior to the installation, by the Chief of Police.
B. 
No more than one call shall be made over the Radio Network 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 not less than eight seconds nor more than 12 seconds.
E. 
The sensory mechanism used in connection with an automatic protection device must be adjusted to suppress false indications of intrusion, so that the device will not be actuated by impulses to fleeting pressure, charges in water pipes, short flashes of light, the rattling or vibrations to the premises caused by the passing of vehicles or any other force not related to genuine alarm.
F. 
All components comprising such a device must be maintained by the owner or lessee in good repair to assure maximum reliability of operation.

§ 50-7 Disconnecting of automatic protection devices.

When messages evidencing failure to comply with the operational requirements set forth in § 50-6 are received by the Township and Township concludes that the automatic protection device sending such messages should be disconnected in order to relieve the Township Police Department of the burden of responding to false alarms, it is authorized to demand that the owner or lessee of the device, or his representative, disconnect the device until it is made to comply with the operational requirements. If this disconnection of the defective device is not accomplished within 48 hours of notification by the Township to disconnect, and the Township determines that the malfunctioning device is repeatedly sending false alarms without any intermittent valid alarms, it may then take appropriate action to disconnect the defective automatic protection device. For purposes of this provision, three or more false alarms shall be sufficient evidence for the Township to determine that the device is malfunctioning.

§ 50-8 Suppliers to conform to standards.

Automatic protection device suppliers must conform to the requirements contained in the National Electrical Code as it pertains to inspections and tests.

§ 50-9 Inspections.

For the purpose of enforcing this chapter, Police Chief and/or the Township Manager or his duly authorized designee is hereby authorized to enter upon a lessee's or owner's premises within the Township at reasonable hours, or in the event of an emergency, at any time, and to make inspections of installations and operations of an automatic protection device or devices upon reasonable notice.

§ 50-10 Permission required for tests or demonstrations.

No person shall conduct any test or demonstrations of an automatic protection device without first obtaining permission from the Township. Where the equipment is not keyed to the Chester County Radio Network, no such permission is necessary.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 1100, regarding suppliers of equipment, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 8-14-1989.

§ 50-11 False alarms.

[Amended 8-14-1989; 12-23-1991]
A. 
Consent to pay costs; schedule of costs.
(1) 
For the purpose of defraying the costs to the Township of responding to false alarms, the owner, lessee or user of any automatic protection device, automatic dialing device, audible alarm or other alarm system of any kind having direct or indirect connection with a police communications center, including users of intermediaries such as central station protective systems, but excluding 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 written consent in such form as may be prescribed by the Township agreeing that such owner, lessee or user shall pay to the Township, according to the following schedule, for each false alarm originating from the owner's, lessee's or user's premises that has not be activated by some force of nature or means beyond the owner's, lessee's or user's control. If doubt exists as to the cause of the false alarm the Chief of Police or his designee shall make a decision regarding the circumstances of the activations.
(a) 
First false alarm per calendar year: a written warning.
(b) 
Second false alarm per calendar year: $50.
(c) 
Third false alarm per calendar year: $100.
(d) 
Fourth false alarm per calendar year: $150.
(e) 
Fifth false alarm per calendar year: $200.
(f) 
Sixth false alarm per calendar year: $250.
(g) 
Seventh false alarm and each subsequent false alarm per calendar year: $300.
(2) 
Each such sum shall be a civil claim by the Township and is in addition to and shall not affect the penalty provision prescribed by § 50-12 hereof.
B. 
Failure to comply. Any such owner, lessee or user who fails to execute the consent described in Subsection A(1) within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter or who shall revoke a consent previously executed and given shall, within the ninety-day period, disconnect the automatic protection device, automatic dialing device, audible alarm or other alarm system from direct or indirect connection with the police communications center, central station protective system or other intermediate system.
C. 
No person shall activate or cause to be activated an automatic protection device or other alarm system described in Subsection A with intent or for the purpose of transmitting or sending a false alarm.
D. 
Any owner, lessee or user of an automatic protection device or other alarm system described in Subsection A hereof which emits, transmits or sends two or more false alarms within a period of 30 consecutive days shall be in violation of this chapter and shall be subject to the penalty provisions hereof.

§ 50-12 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 12-23-1991; 7-2-1996 by Ord. No. 111-96; 4-1-1997 by Ord. No. 117-97]
A. 
Any person who violates this chapter by failing to comply with the requirements of a written notice of a violation within three days of receipt of such notice, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense, and shall be subject to the payment of a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a term of not more than 30 days. Each provision of this chapter that is violated shall constitute a separate offense; and each day or portion thereof in which a violation of this chapter is found to exist shall constitute a separate offense, each of which violations shall be punishable by a separate fine imposed by the District Justice of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution, or upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a term of not more than 30 days. All fines and penalties collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid to the Township Treasurer.
B. 
Any person who violates or permits the violation of any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense, and shall be subject to the payment of a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a term of not more than 30 days. Each provision of this chapter that is violated shall constitute a separate offense, and each day or portion thereof in which a violation of this chapter is found to exist shall constitute a separate offense, each of which violations shall be punishable by a separate fine imposed by the District Justice of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution, or upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a term of not more than 30 days. All fines and penalties collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid to the Township Treasurer.