Township of Union, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Union 7-9-1985 by Ord. No. 3800; amended in its entirety 10-9-1990 by Ord. No. 4104 (Ch. 86 of the 1986 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention — See Ch. 285.
Noise — See Ch. 378.

§ 156-1 Purpose. [1]

The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards and regulations for various types of fire and burglar and other emergency alarm devices, whether by direct line, radio, telephone or other means, and requiring a response thereto by the Police Department of the Township of Union.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 156-2 Scope. [1]

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person, firm or corporation that operates, maintains, installs, repairs or owns any alarm device or local alarm designed to summon the Union Police Department to any location in response to any type of alarm signal. The terms of this chapter shall in no way prohibit alarm companies, persons, firms and/or corporations from providing service by private source to other dwellings or buildings within the Township of Union, so long as such activity is not connected to the alarm console at the Township of Union Public Safety Answering Point; except, however, that any person, firm or corporation having a premises protected by an alarm device shall still be responsible for the registration thereof in accordance with § 156-6 hereof.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 156-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM CONSOLE
The console or control panel or devices giving a visual or audio response, or both, and localized within the confines of the Public Safety Answering Point of the Township of Union.
ALARM SYSTEM
Any alarm device providing a signal to the Public Safety Answering Point by any means, providing warning or intrusion, fire, smoke, flood or other peril, or any other device, audible or otherwise, resulting in public safety response.
ALARM INSTALLATION
Any alarm device or combination of devices installed for one or more buildings at a location other than the alarm console.
CENTRAL STATION
An office to which remote alarm and supervisory signaling devices are connected, where operators supervise the circuits, where guards are maintained continuously to investigate signals.
CENTRAL STATION EQUIPMENT
The signal-receiving, recording or retransmitting equipment owned and maintained by the central station.
CENTRAL STATION SYSTEM
A system in which the operation of electrical protection circuits and devices are signaled automatically to, recorded in, maintained by and supervised from a central station having trained operators and guards in attendance at all times.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police for the Township of Union or his designated representative.
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]
DIALER ALARM
That type of device using telephone lines or radio alarms or other means transmitting to the Township of Union Public Safety Answering Point.
FALSE ALARM
The activation of an alarm system by inadvertence, negligence, malfunction or unintentional act of someone, but does not include alarms caused by hurricanes, storms or other climatic conditions, and shall also include the deliberate activation of an alarm system in order to test the alarm without prior notification to the Public Safety Answering Point of the alarm test.
LICENSEE
The person obtaining the license to maintain the alarm console as hereinafter set forth.
LOCAL ALARM
Any alarm or device which, when actuated, produces a signal not connected to the alarm console or a central station, such as an actuating bell device or any other type of audible or visual identification.
PERMITTEE
Any person owning, operation and/or maintaining an alarm device or a local alarm within the scope of this chapter.
PERSON
Includes any natural person, partnership, corporation or association.
PUBLIC SAFETY
Includes police, fire or emergency medical responders.

§ 156-4 Alarm console license.

A. 
There is established an alarm console license which shall be granted as set forth in § 156-5 of this chapter. Any such licensee shall have exclusive use and control of the alarm console, except for use by the public safety of the Township of Union, and such licensee will be responsible, at no cost to the Township of Union, for the establishment, construction, installation, maintenance and management thereafter of said console, containing equipment and being of a design recommended or approved by the Chief of Police, and for the care, maintenance and management thereafter of said console. Said licensee shall locate said console, and relocate said console if necessary, under the supervision of the designated representative at no cost to the Township of Union for any such license granted hereunder. The licensee will assume all liability and agree to indemnify and save harmless the Township of Union, its agents, public officials and the Township of Union Police Department and its officers and members for any acts in conjunction therewith the operation of said alarm console. The licensee shall furnish annually to the Township Clerk a noncancelable insurance certificate indicating complete liability coverage in an amount no less than $300,000 for each person, $500,000 for each accident and $1,000,000 property damage for each accident.
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Any connection to the alarm console shall be of a type inspected and approved by the designated representative, and any person aggrieved by said decision may appeal said decision, in writing, within 10 days to the Township Committee of the Township of Union, which shall resolve the appeal within a reasonable time, after hearing. The decision of the Township Committee shall be final.
C. 
The licensee shall install initially an annunciator and/or display console and remotes having no less than one-thousand-subscriber capability, available for present systems and future connections, which console shall be approved by the Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc. The licensee should be Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc. listed. Such installation described above shall be at no cost to the Township of Union, its officers or members.
D. 
The licensee for the alarm console shall be permitted to charge subscribers an installation fee and a monthly retainer or maintenance fee. No fee shall be charged to the Township of Union, the Board of Education or any of its subsidiaries for monthly charges or console connection charges for any existing or future systems in public buildings owned and/or operated by the Township of Union, its agents or subsidiaries.
E. 
Except as provided in § 156-7 of this chapter, any license issued hereunder shall be for a term of five years from January 1 following the adoption of this chapter; such licensee shall post with the Township Clerk a performance bond in the amount of $10,000, noncancelable without notification to the Township Committee of the Township of Union, guaranteeing performance for the full term of the license and ensuring maintenance of said console and alarm system during said period when such license is in force.
F. 
The licensee shall pay to the Township of Union, in consideration for the exclusive franchise given, a franchise fee equaling 15% of the gross revenues that the licensee derives from the charges paid by subscribers for the monthly retainer and maintenance fee set forth above. Said franchise fee shall be paid to the Township of Union within 30 days after January 1 of every year, based on the revenues collected in the prior 12 months.
G. 
Any indemnification under this chapter shall be such indemnification as is permitted by appropriate law and regulations. The provisions of this section shall not apply to residential alarm systems.
[Added 3-26-1991 by Ord. No. 4139]

§ 156-5 Application for license.

A. 
Prequalification persons desiring to bid for said license shall make application to the Chief of Police and Township Administrator, which application shall disclose whatever information may be required by the Township of Union concerning the ability of the proposed applicant to comply with the requirements of this chapter and shall indicate, in any event, that said licensee has satisfactory financial and personal references indicating his, her or its ability to comply with the terms of this chapter; that said licensee has an office with adequate personnel, available on a twenty-four-hour basis, to service said equipment; and that such office shall be located within 10 miles of the center of the Township of Union.
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]
B. 
The governing body shall designate the time and place for receiving sealed bids, as set forth above, which bid shall indicate the bond and other requirements of this chapter and the minimum installation and monthly charges. Upon the return of the sealed bids, the governing body may award said license to the person whose bid, taken as a whole, is the most advantageous to the subscribers to the system from a cost standpoint, and, in conjunction therewith, the governing body reserves the right to reject any and all bids.
C. 
Renewals of said license or award of new licenses, should any license be terminated in accordance with sections of this chapter, shall be accomplished by following the procedures outlined herein.

§ 156-6 Registration; issuance of permits; fees.

A. 
Any person who desires to install an alarm device or local alarm within the Township of Union or who currently owns, operates or maintains an alarm device or a local alarm shall make application for a permit to install or continue said alarm, in writing, to the designated representative of the Township of Union Police Department. The application shall be in such form as the designated representative shall prescribe and shall set forth all information required by the designated representative to enable him to carry out effectively his public safety responsibilities, but shall contain at least the location of the device, the name of the installer of said device, the type of device, provisions relating to false alarms and testing procedures, a list of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm and other information as may be required by the designated representative of the Township of Union Police Department.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
The subscriber or central station or installer of each alarm system shall register each alarm system with the Police Department.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
A registration fee of $10 shall accompany each application submitted, except no registration fee shall be charged to any owner of an alarm currently in existence at the time of the adoption of this chapter, if such registration takes place within 90 days of said adoption. There shall be no registration fee for any application for an alarm for a nonprofit organization or for a house of worship or a residential alarm or an alarm on municipal property under this section of this chapter.
[Amended 3-26-1991 by Ord. No. 4139; 5-11-1993 by Ord. No. 4243]
D. 
The permittee of each alarm system shall pay to the Township of Union an annual registration fee of $10 to cover the cost of maintaining, testing and to amortize the cost of necessary equipment for the proper functioning of this alarm equipment. There shall be no annual registration fee for an alarm for a nonprofit organization or for a house of worship or a residential alarm or an alarm on municipal property under this section of this chapter.
[Amended 3-26-1991 by Ord. No. 4139; 5-11-1993 by Ord. No. 4243]
E. 
Any permit granted hereunder shall be granted upon the express condition that the permittee shall indemnify and hold the Township of Union harmless from and on account of any and all damages arising out of the activities of the permittee, its alarm contractor or the alarm console licensee of the Township of Union.
F. 
Every permittee shall, by acceptance of the permit, be deemed as having consented to the inspection of the alarm system, at reasonable hours, by the designated representative and shall accept the responsibility for the proper operation of the alarm system up to and including the line connection, if any, to the Public Safety Answering Point.
G. 
Any persons installing or maintaining unauthorized equipment shall be prosecuted for violation of this chapter, and each and every day the equipment is in operation shall be considered a separate violation.
H. 
Any person who currently has an alarm device in existence at the time of the passage of this chapter shall have 60 days from the effective date of this chapter to register said alarm.
[Amended 3-26-1991 by Ord. No. 4139]
I. 
Any licensee and/or permittee for an alarm shall provide for a representative to be on call for emergency repair service. In each case wherein the alarm is connected directly to the Public Safety Answering Point, the service shall be provided within 24 hours of notification by the Public Safety Answering Point of any malfunction of any equipment.

§ 156-7 Limitation of Township obligations.

[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]
The Township of Union shall be under no obligation to any permittee, subscriber, licensee or alarm console licensee hereunder, the alarm console and allied equipment being maintained at will and subject to termination at any time by cancellation of the system, by resolution duly adopted by the governing body of the Township of Union, and any individual permit issued hereunder may be revoked at any time by the recommendation of the Chief of Police, provided that 30 days' notice is given, in writing, to said permittee by certified mail.

§ 156-8 General regulations.

A. 
Any licensee for the alarm console and any permittee utilizing the services of any other alarm company connected to said console shall provide for a representative to be on call at all times, and such service shall be provided immediately, when necessary, after notification by the Police Department of any malfunction of any equipment. No permittee utilizing the services of any other alarm company shall be denied access to the alarm console because of the use of another alarm company and shall not be discriminated against respecting any fees charged by the licensee.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
In the case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Public Safety Answering Point in a manner to be prescribed by rules and regulations in accordance with this chapter. In addition, in the case of a false alarm, the Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made and keep a record of said alarms on file. Where the investigation by the Chief of Police demonstrates continued abuse of the privilege of connection to the alarm console and/or a disregard of the permittee for taking remedial steps to avoid false alarms and/or the failure of the permittee to pay any fine or administrative charge, the Chief of Police reserves the right to require disconnection from the alarm console for a limited or permanent time or require the disconnection of any dial alarm device, provided that no such permit shall be revoked or suspended without giving the permittee the opportunity to show cause, before the Chief of Police, why such action should not be taken. An alarm owner shall not be charged with a false alarm, provided that such owner makes immediate proper notification in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Chief of Police.
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]
C. 
Any unauthorized equipment may be disconnected by the Chief of Police or his designated representative for noncompliance with this chapter, and any person installing or maintaining unauthorized equipment shall be prosecuted for violation of this chapter, and each and every day that said equipment is in operation shall be considered a separate violation. Any permittee shall, by acceptance of the permit, be deemed as having consented to inspection of the premises on which said alarm devices are installed, at reasonable hours, by the Chief of Police or his designated representative.
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]
D. 
Any person testing an alarm system covered by the provisions of this chapter shall notify the Public Safety Answering Point immediately prior to and after the testing is completed. Failure to do so shall constitute a violation herein and subject an alarm owner or maintainer to such penalties as set forth in this chapter.
E. 
Proper maintenance of private alarm systems or local alarms. Every person who installs, maintains or uses a private alarm system or warning device to serve an improved property within the Township shall maintain it in good repair and proper working condition, shall meet the standards which may from time to time be promulgated by the Chief of Police to prevent faulty systems or devices and shall promptly correct or disconnect any faulty system or device upon notice from the Chief of Police that the system or device is sounding an inordinate number of false alarms.
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]

§ 156-9 Alarm systems.

A. 
Dialer alarms.
(1) 
Dialer prohibition against new tape dialer systems. No application for initial permits shall be filed or accepted for any tape dialer system. This prohibition against new tape dialer systems shall have no effect upon the renewal of a permit for any such system as to which an initial permit has previously been issued to the same person.
(2) 
No dial alarm shall be permitted unless it shall have first been registered and approved by the Chief of Police after approval by the telephone company. All dial alarms shall be coded to dial a separate special number to be provided by the Chief of Police. All such alarms shall be capable of being disconnected to allow a call to the Public Safety Answering Point in the event of a false alarm. If any person has any dial alarm in existence at the time of the effective date of this chapter, it shall be reprogrammed within 60 days to comply with this chapter.
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]
(3) 
If any dial alarm hereafter shall be found to be dialing the Public Safety general number, rather than the special number being provided, the Chief of Police shall send the person in whose name the telephone is listed a written notice requiring compliance with this chapter. If the occupant or telephone subscriber fails to comply within 60 days after service of such notice, said failure shall constitute a violation of this chapter, and the person shall be liable to the penalties set forth in this chapter. Each and every day for which this notice has not been complied with shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]
(4) 
The contents of a dial alarm message shall be clean and intelligible and in the format approved by the Chief of Police. No such message shall be transmitted more than three times as a result of a single stimulus of the mechanism. Messages shall not exceed 15 seconds, and the time gap between each shall not exceed three minutes.
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]
B. 
Local alarms. Every private alarm system or local alarm which has a sounding device shall be equipped with a cutoff mechanism which will terminate the sound after 15 minutes.

§ 156-10 Testing procedures.

A. 
Testing of any alarm system must be conducted between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
B. 
Before a test of any alarm, the Township of Union Public Safety Answering Point must be notified that the alarm will be activated. Verification of receipt of signal will be given when a second call is made to notify the Public Safety Answering Point that the testing is completed.
C. 
Local alarms should be tested by owners during the same hours, and owners should allow audible signals to sound for only a short period of time.

§ 156-11 Appeals.

Whenever, under the provisions of this chapter, the designated representative is empowered to make a decision with respect to the installation, operation and maintenance of any alarm equipment or with respect to the issuance or denial of any application relating thereto or in the imposition of any administrative charge, any person aggrieved by said decision may, within 10 days following said decision, file a written appeal therefrom with the Township Administrator of the Township of Union, who shall conduct a hearing and affirm, modify or reverse the decision appealed from. The decision of the Township Administrator shall be final.

§ 156-12 Violations and penalties.

Any person, firm or corporation found guilty by the Judge of the Municipal Court of the Township of Union for violation of the terms of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both.

§ 156-13 False alarms; penalties.

A. 
No false alarm shall occur when an alarm permittee makes a telephone call indicating that a test is in progress and such signal is misinterpreted by the Public Safety Answering Point.
B. 
For continuing false alarms, within a calendar year, the following administrative fees will prevail:
[Amended 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]
(1) 
For the first, second and third false alarms, no fee will be assessed, but the permittee shall be issued a warning by the Chief of Police or a designated representative.
(2) 
For the fourth and fifth false alarms, a penalty of $25 shall be charged to the permittee of such alarm system.
(3) 
For a sixth false alarm, the fee shall increase to $75; and for the seventh or subsequent false alarms, the fee shall increase to $100, to be charged to the permittee of the alarm system.
C. 
Any permittee of such alarm system may appeal any administrative fee to the Chief of Police or his designee.
[Added 3-14-1995 by Ord. No. 4376]

§ 156-14 Revocation of permit.

The governing body reserves the right to revoke any issued permit when the permittee continues to operate any alarm system that continues to generate false alarms.

§ 156-15 Enforcement. [1]

This chapter shall be enforced by the Township of Union Police Department.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).