[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lebanon 8-16-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-8; effective 8-16-2006. Amendments noted where applicable.]011a Alarm regulations
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 11, Alarms, adopted as Ord. No. 55; effective 9-7-1988.
This chapter shall be known as the "City of Lebanon Alarm Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to set forth regulations applicable to emergency and supervisory alarm systems and to provide minimum standards of operation for such systems.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to RSA 47:17.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM COMPANY
- A private person or company which, as a business or for a fee, monitors signals produced by alarm systems and reports these alarms to the Lebanon Communications Center.
- ALARM COMPANY CUSTOMER
- A person who has an alarm system installed in a residence or business that is connected to an alarm company who in turn notifies the Lebanon Communications Center when there is an alarm.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- A device or an assembly of equipment and/or devices arranged to signal a hazard or intrusion requiring urgent attention to which public safety personnel are, under normal circumstances, expected to respond.
- ALARM USER
- A person who has a private alarm system installed in a business or residence or any other structure which connects to the alarm receiver equipment located at the Center.
- The highest ranking officer of either the Lebanon Fire Department or the Lebanon Police Department. For the purpose of §§ 11-9 and 11-12C, the deciding authority on suspension or revocation for fire, EMS and supervisory alarms shall be the Fire Chief and the Police Chief for all police alarms.
- COMMUNICATIONS SUPERVISOR
- Supervisor of the Communications Center.
- EMERGENCY CALL-OUT LIST
- A list of individuals who may be reached any time, day or night, and who are authorized to respond to an alarm signal and to open the premises, and who have knowledge of the operation of the alarm system.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm signal, report of an alarm signal by an alarm company, or other report of an emergency or situation to the Center, which causes or results in a response by City of Lebanon public safety personnel, when no emergency or other situation requiring or justifying such a response exists. For purposes of false alarm fees only, an alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the user shall not be considered a false alarm.
- Fire alarm control panel.
- Any natural person, corporation, firm, partnership, association or other legal entity.
- PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCY
- Any police, fire, ambulance or communications agency engaged in protection of life and property in an emergency capacity.
- PUBLIC SAFETY PERSONNEL
- Any person employed by a public safety agency.
- STANDARD TELEPHONE SERVICE
- A direct dial telephone access.
- THE CENTER
- The Lebanon Public Safety Communications Center located in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
- VOICE DIALER ALARM
- An alarm system which automatically selects a telephone line connected to the Center and which produces a prerecorded voice message or coded signal indicating the existence of an emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect.
The Communications Supervisor is hereby authorized to issue alarm user permits under § 11-6, and alarm company customer permits under § 11-11. Such permits shall be obtained through the Communications Supervisor's office. Every alarm user shall obtain an alarm user permit for each alarm system he or she operates which is connected to the alarm receiving equipment at the Center prior to the alarm being connected and monitored. Every alarm company customer shall obtain an alarm company customer permit for each alarm system he or she operates which is connected to an alarm company prior to making the connection to the alarm company. Alarm companies are not required to obtain permits, but they are required to maintain and provide to the Communications Supervisor an updated and current list of all alarm company customers.
The applicant for an alarm user permit shall complete the application provided by the Communications Supervisor. The alarm user shall provide all information which may be required by the Communications Supervisor. Failure to provide any required information shall be considered sufficient cause to refuse to grant a permit.
Any false statements or the misrepresentation of any facts made on the application for the purpose of obtaining an alarm user permit or the renewal of a permit shall be considered sufficient cause to refuse to grant a permit or to revoke an existing permit.
All alarm users shall have the right to connect to the City of Lebanon's alarm receiving equipment under the following terms and conditions:
The protected property must fall within the boundaries of the City, town or village districts which are dispatched by the Center.
The Center must dispatch for the public safety agency that will be responding to the alarm signal.
The Center will not order any telephone lines for the connection of the alarm system to the Center. This will be the responsibility of the user.
All connections shall be made in such a manner and at such times as directed by the Communications Supervisor.
Each user shall furnish to the City any additional information that may be required.
All fire alarm equipment and devices must be submitted to and approved by the Lebanon Fire Department prior to installation and approval of an alarm user permit. Catalog sheets and technical specifications must be provided for the approval process, as per Fire Department regulations.
Each user shall furnish an emergency call-out list for each alarm system.
Grounds for revocation or suspensions. The following shall constitute sufficient grounds for the revocation, or suspension for a stated period, of an alarm user permit or of an alarm company customer permit issued under § 11-11:
The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
The failure to comply with any applicable law or ordinance.
False, misleading or fraudulent statements of fact knowingly made on either the application for an alarm user permit or an alarm company customer permit application or in any report or record related to the alarm system by the alarm user or his/her employees or agents.
The failure to pay any fee imposed on the alarm user or alarm company customer as set forth under this chapter. Failure to pay the annual permit fee shall be subject to the provisions of § 11-14.
The failure of an alarm user or alarm company customer permit holder to reduce the rate of false alarms after being notified by the Chief that the false alarm rate attributable to the permit holder is unreasonable in light of the type of property or number of customers involved. The possibility of revocation under this subsection is in addition to the false alarm fee set forth in § 11-12.
Revocation procedure. If the Chief determines that the grounds for revocation or suspension of a user permit or alarm company customer permit exist, then he/she shall serve the permit holder with a written order of revocation, which shall state the reasons for the revocation. Service shall be made in either of two ways:
Effective date of revocation. If the order of revocation is served by personal in-hand service, it shall become effective five calendar days after the date of service. If the order of revocation is served by certified mail, return receipt requested, it shall become effective seven calendar days after the date of deposit in the United States mail; provided, however, that if an appeal is made to the City Manager within the seven days under § 11-13 of this chapter, the revocation shall not become effective until 48 hours after the appeal is resolved by determination of the City Manager, unless the Chief makes a written finding that such a delay would have an adverse impact on public safety.
Rescission of revocation order. An order for revocation may be rescinded by the Chief if, within the five- or seven-day period between service and the effective date of the order of revocation, whichever is applicable, the permit holder cures the default which gave rise to the order of revocation. The decision whether or not to rescind an order of revocation shall be within the sole discretion of the Chief.
Disconnection. Upon the effective date of an order of revocation of an alarm user's permit, the alarm system shall be immediately disconnected from the City's equipment.
Right to appeal. All alarm users or alarm companies customers shall have the right to appeal the revocation of their permit as set forth under § 11-13 of this chapter.
Application for permit following revocation. An alarm user or alarm company customer whose permit has been revoked may apply for a new permit. However, the Communications Supervisor is not required to issue a permit to such person unless satisfied that the user has corrected the condition which led to the revocation. If a permit is issued, the Communications Supervisor may impose any reasonable restrictions and conditions.
Alarm user permit fee. All alarm users obtaining permits shall pay an annual permit fee and an annual renewal fee of $250. This fee is to help reimburse the City for the costs of connection and monitoring of alarm systems and shall be payable to the City of Lebanon. There is no permit fee for alarm company customer permits.
Out of date call-out list fee. Should the Center go through an alarm user's emergency call-out list, or an alarm company customer's call-out list, and find it to be out of date, then a fee of $50 will be imposed upon the alarm user or alarm company customer. It shall be the responsibility of the alarm user and alarm company customer to keep emergency call-out lists up-to-date. For purposes of this section, an out of date emergency call-out list shall mean a list, which, because of the passage of time, no longer contains accurate information as required by § 11-8 or 11-11 of this chapter. When property which is subject to an alarm user permit is sold, it is the responsibility of the seller to notify the Center so that the alarm may be disconnected or the out of date call-out list fee shall apply.
After November 16, 2006, no person shall be, continue to be, or become an alarm company customer with respect to any property located within the City of Lebanon, or within any area dispatched by the Center, without a permit issued by the Communications Supervisor. Application shall be on a form approved by the Communications Supervisor, and failure to provide any required information shall be deemed sufficient cause for refusal to grant a permit.
Each alarm company customer shall provide to the Communications Supervisor the following information, in writing: the physical location of the protected property, the manager, and a list of individuals who may be reached at any time, day or night, who have knowledge of the protected property.
Any alarm company providing alarm company services to customers or property located within the City of Lebanon or within any area dispatched by the Center shall provide to the Communications Supervisor a current, updated list of customers located within the City of Lebanon, or within any area dispatched by the Center, together with a current, updated emergency call-out list for every customer.
A record shall be maintained by the Center of all false alarms received from each alarm system and from each alarm company customer. If more than one false alarm is received from any permitted alarm user or from any alarm company customer within the calendar year, the Communications Supervisor may send a warning letter to the permitted user or alarm company customer, and may request information concerning the false alarms, including efforts to discover and eliminate the causes of the false alarms. It shall be a violation of this chapter for any permit holder to fail to respond to such a request within 15 days unless an extension is granted.
For each false alarm in excess of three within a calendar year from a single alarm system or alarm company customer, a fee shall be imposed on the alarm user or alarm company customer permit holder. The false alarm fee shall be $100 for each occurrence. The fee is to help reimburse the City for the cost of providing services, and shall be imposed regardless of fault. Any person who applies for and is issued an alarm user permit or alarm company customer permit shall, as a condition of such permit, be deemed to have consented to the imposition of such fees for the purposes stated herein, and failure to pay the fee shall be a violation of this chapter.
Disconnection. Notwithstanding the permitted number of false alarms described in § 11-12A above, the Chief may under exigent circumstances order a faulty alarm system disconnected until such time as it is repaired. The determination of whether an alarm system is faulty shall be within the sole discretion of the person ordering the disconnection. The user permit holder or, if he or she is unavailable, a person whose name appears on the emergency call-out list, shall be notified verbally by the person ordering the disconnection that the alarm system is going to be disconnected. The verbal notification shall be given prior to the actual disconnection of the alarm system. Upon the actual disconnection of the alarm system, written confirmation of the disconnection, including a statement of the exigent circumstances, shall be sent immediately to the alarm user permit holder. Such a notice may be appealed under § 11-13 of this chapter.
All permit holders shall have the right to appeal to the City Manager as to any revocation of a user permit or alarm company customer permit, the assessment of any fee other than the annual permit fee and the connection or disconnection of an alarm system. If an alarm user wishes to appeal, the alarm user shall notify the City Manager in writing within seven calendar days of receipt of notification of the revocation of the permit, the disconnection of the alarm system or the assessment of a fee other than the annual permit fee. The City Manager shall thereafter make such determination, as he/she deems appropriate and notify the user in writing of the determination within 30 days.
If any alarm user fails to pay the annual fee for the alarm user permit or any other fee provided for under this chapter, written notice shall be sent to the user. If payment is not made within seven days from the date of mailing, the Center reserves the right to disconnect the alarm user's alarm system from the City's equipment, following a seven-day notice as provided in § 11-9B and C of this chapter. If an alarm system is disconnected from the City's equipment, the alarm user will be notified verbally immediately with a follow-up written notice to be sent within seven days from the date of disconnection.
The Center will no longer allow the connection of voice dialer alarms to the City's equipment. If a voice dialer alarm is received, the user shall be notified in writing that the voice dialer must be disconnected immediately. Any alarms thereafter received from that voice dialer shall be subject to a fee as provided in § 11-10C.
Fees involved in this chapter shall not apply to an alarm system installed in any building owned by the City of Lebanon or public schools located within the boundaries of the City of Lebanon.
Any person wishing to test the fire alarm or sprinkler system that is monitored by a master box must notify the Lebanon Fire Department at 448-8810 at least 24 hours before any test is conducted, provided that the master box cannot be disabled at the FACP. Master boxes must be plugged out by the Lebanon Fire Department at its convenience. The Center may refuse to allow tests if busy with emergency traffic.
Violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions. In addition, the following penalties shall apply:
Any alarm company which provides alarm services to property located within the City of Lebanon or within any area dispatched by the Center that does not have an alarm company customer permit under this chapter and who reports any alarms to the Lebanon Communications Center on behalf of such property shall be guilty of a violation and shall, in addition, be subject to a civil penalty of $500 for each alarm reported to the Center without such a permit.
Any person who is the owner, occupant or custodian of any property upon behalf of which an alarm company reports an alarm to the Lebanon Communications Center, without such person having first obtained an alarm company customer permit for that property as required by this chapter, shall be guilty of a violation, and shall, in addition, be subject to a civil penalty of $500 for each alarm reported to the Center without such a permit.
Any person who directly or indirectly causes a false alarm, knowing that no emergency or other situation exists which requires or justifies a response by public safety personnel, shall be subject to the penalties provided in RSA 644:3, 644:3-a, and 644:3-b.