[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southeast 8-20-1992 by L.L. No. 4-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction and fire prevention – See Ch. 54.
The Town of Southeast recognizes the need to regulate the installation and use of emergency alarm systems designed to require Police or Volunteer Fire Department response, investigation and safeguarding of property at the location of an event reported by such a signal. It is the intent of this chapter to reduce in number of false alarms and to encourage the use and proper maintenance of reliable emergency signal systems.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
- ALARM PERMIT
- The written authorization of the license authority granted to any person, business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity to install or cause to be installed in his or her place of residence or business any police or fire alarm device, devices or system of police or fire alarm devices.
- ALARM REVIEW BOARD
- A board consisting of three voting members and one advisory member, appointed by the Supervisor, subject to the approval of the Town Board including the Supervisor. One member shall be an employee or other officer of the Town of Southeast, one member shall be a member of the Brewster Fire Department, and one member shall be an employee of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department. There shall be one nonvoting advisory member who shall also be a member of the Regional Alarm Association.
- CENTRAL ALARM STATION
- Any facility operated by a private firm that owns or leases a system of police or fire alarm devices, which facility is manned by operators who receive, record or validate signals to the Police or Volunteer Fire Department when appropriate.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Fire Inspector of the Town of Southeast shall be the
principal enforcement officer for the purpose of compelling compliance
with the provisions of this chapter. Such officer shall have the authority
to issue notices of violation and summonses to persons who fail to
comply with the provisions of this chapter. Notwithstanding the foregoing,
any duly appointed code enforcement officer of the Town, police officer
or peace officer is hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of
this chapter.[Added 10-20-1994 by L.L. No. 4-1994]
- ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY OR SUPERVISORY ALARM
- A silent alarm designed to notify persons at a remote location of an operational defect or aberration or a breach of security concerning a particular mechanical system, machinery or mechanism.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal actuated by a police or fire alarm device, devices or system of police or fire alarm devices which is not the result of a natural disaster, act of God, a criminal act, fire or other emergency requiring police or fire response. The term "false alarm" shall include human error and equipment malfunction causing the alarm to be activated, except when the owner or lessee of such equipment has telephoned or otherwise informed the Putnam County Sheriff's Department of a possible "false alarm" to shortly ensue resulting from equipment servicing, opening and/or closing the establishment or residence or similar activity.
- HOLDUP/PANIC ALARM
- A silent device installed at a commercial location designed to signal a remote location requiring police assistance.
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- The Clerk of the Town of Southeast.
- MEDICAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE ALARM
- A sounding device designed to summon assistance from family or neighbors which is not connected to a remote location through central station service or otherwise.
- PANIC ALARM
- An electronic device designed to signal a remote location or emergency service when the wearer needs assistance.
- POLICE OR FIRE ALARM DEVICE
- Any device which, when actuated by a criminal act, fire or other emergency, transmits a prerecorded message or other signal by telephone, radio, central alarm station or audible or visible range to notify the Police or Fire Department, requiring their respective emergency response.
- SYSTEM TROUBLE SIGNAL
- A signal transmitted by an alarm system to a remote location indicating a mechanical or technical problem with the system, other than an alarm condition. Such "system trouble signal" shall not be transmitted so as to invoke an emergency response from police, fire or rescue personnel.
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any alarm devices to be connected directly to the Police Department or Fire Department. Except as may be otherwise required by federal or state law, all alarm devices shall be connected to a central alarm station or other answering service for notification to the appropriate agency or repair service. No tape dialing devices shall be permitted.
[Amended 10-20-1994 by L.L. No. 4-1994]
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any owner or lessee of any police or fire alarm device to cause the placing in operation of any police or fire alarm system in his or her residence or place of business without a permit as required pursuant to this chapter. Those found in violation of this provision shall have 30 days after having been served with a notification by mail of such violation to pay the fine imposed and secure the necessary permit. Failure to do so will subject the violator to additional fines and penalties for each day that such violation shall continue to exist.
[Amended 2-20-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997]
All applications for alarm permits shall be submitted to the licensing authority on a form prescribed by the Town Board, which shall be obtained from the licensing authority. Said application shall include a description of the police or fire alarm devices installed or to be installed. All applications and renewals having a history of two or more false alarms during the previous 12 months shall require a certification that a maintenance inspection has been conducted by a New York State licensed or certified alarm agent within the preceding 12 months. Renewal applications having a history of less than two false alarms during the previous 12 months shall be exempt from the certification of maintenance requirement. All records regarding specific alarm systems registered pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed confidential records and not subject to disclosure except to authorized Police and Fire Department personnel upon written request.
The annual permit fee for an alarm shall be as established from time to time by resolution of the Town Board. Any permit issued shall become valid on the first day of July of any given year and shall expire 12 months thereafter. Permits shall be renewed each year, and any application for renewal shall be made on or before the expiration of the current permit. If renewal is made subsequent to 60 days after the due date, the fee charged shall be that of a new permit as per the fee schedule.
Under no circumstances shall the cost of any police or fire alarm device, devices or system of police or fire alarm devices be charged to the Town or Fire Department or Police Department. The owner or lessee shall be responsible for the service of his or her equipment and for correcting any malfunction of same that may occur.
[Amended 2-20-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997]
The Putnam County Sheriff, the Brewster Fire Department and the New York State Police shall prepare and submit a monthly report to the licensing authority, who shall keep an up-to-date and accurate log of all false alarms occurring in the Town and who shall submit same to the Town Board of the Town of Southeast. Any owner or lessee of property having a police or fire alarm device, devices or system of police or fire alarm devices on his or her premises and any user of services or equipment furnished by a licensee under this chapter shall pay to the Town a fine for each and every false alarm occurring on the subject premises according to the following schedule:
False alarm fines.
There shall be no charge for the first false alarm from a permitted location during a particular calendar year.
For each additional false alarm during the same calendar year, the following schedule of fines shall be imposed:
False Alarm Occurrence
A nonpermitted location shall be required to pay a fine in accordance with the foregoing schedule commencing with the first false alarm, which shall be payable together with any additional fine or fee levied as a result of failing to have a valid alarm registration for such location.
In addition to the above charges, should more than five false alarms occur at any one location while under the control of the same owner, the Board of Review may, after conducting a hearing as hereinafter set forth, order the owner or lessee of the police or fire alarm system to disconnect, dismantle or otherwise remove from the premises and/or central alarm station any such device, devices or system causing such false alarms at no expense to the Town; and any refusal by the owner or lessee to do the same shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, subject to the penalties of this chapter and immediate revocation of the permit. A new permit may be issued once proof that a new system has been installed or that the system has been repaired by a New York State licensed or certified alarm agent or technician is provided to the licensing authority.
All false alarm fines and charges will be collected by the licensing authority. Failure to pay a charge shall subject such alarm owner, lessee or user to further penalties as provided in § 39-16 hereof.
It shall be a violation of this chapter to intentionally cause a false alarm, and any person who does intentionally cause a false alarm shall be subject to the penalty provisions of this chapter in addition to any penalties provided by state law.
The licensing authority may for cause deny a permit or refuse to renew a permit, and the Building Inspector, Fire Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer or police officer may for cause recommend the suspension or revocation of a permit issued under this chapter. In the event that the licensing authority refuses to issue a permit or a renewal thereof, a person aggrieved by such denial may appeal to the Alarm Review Board in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. In the case of an emergency, the licensing authority may summarily suspend any permit until the Alarm Review Board hearing is completed.
Any applicant whose application for a permit has been denied or whose permit has been summarily suspended by the licensing authority may file a request for review with the licensing authority who shall refer same to the Alarm Review Board for its review and decision. Such request for review shall be filed within 10 days after notification of denial or suspension.
In the event that the Building Inspector, Fire Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer or a police officer files a written recommendation with the licensing authority requesting the suspension or revocation of a specific permit, such recommendation shall be referred to the Alarm Review Board who shall convene a hearing thereon in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
The Alarm Review Board shall hold hearings at such time as it deems necessary or when it is directed to do so by the Town Board. Such hearing shall be convened on at least 10 days' prior written notice, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the applicant or permit holder at the address set forth by such applicant or permit holder in its application filed with the licensing authority or at such other address as such person or entity may designate in writing. The applicant or permit holder may appear at such hearing in person and/or by a duly authorized representative and shall be given an opportunity to present testimony, witnesses or other evidence in support of its application or permit. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the Alarm Review Board shall issue its determination in writing within 30 days after the close of the hearing. Failure to make a recommendation within such time period, unless waived by all parties concerned, shall be deemed an approval of the proposed action.
The decision of the Alarm Review Board shall be mailed to the applicant or permit holder by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall be a final decision subject to review by a proceeding commenced pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules of the State of New York; provided, however, that any proceeding commenced pursuant to such Article to review such determination shall be commenced within 30 days after the decision appealed from was rendered.
The licensing authority is hereby authorized to grant revocable alarm permits, pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the Town of Southeast or its duly authorized representative. Such permits may be revoked for good cause shown. The licensing authority shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter and any rules and regulations promulgated by the Town Board in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
The Town Board may promulgate reasonable rules, regulations and standards that may be necessary for the purpose of assuring the proper implementation of the provisions of this chapter. Copies of this chapter and any regulations adopted pursuant hereto shall be available for applicants.
It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk to act as the licensing authority and to receive fees and charges and to keep a record thereof.
It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk to maintain a record of alarm licenses and alarm permits issued and number of false alarms reported and to make a monthly report of same to the Town Board.
In order to implement the orderly institution of all the requirements, rules and regulations of this chapter, the owners or lessees of any police or fire alarm device, devices or systems of police or fire alarm devices currently in use and required under the provisions of this chapter to obtain an alarm permit shall obtain said permit no later than October 1, 1992.
The Town shall not be liable for any defects in the operation of emergency alarm systems, for any failure by any law enforcement or fire protection agency to respond appropriately on any emergency alarm signal or for the transmission of alarm signals or messages or the relaying of such signals or messages. In the event that the Town finds it necessary to cause the revocation of a permit or to order the disconnection or removal of a defective automatic or signaling device, the Town shall incur no liability therefrom.
Any person, business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity who does not pay any fee or charge established in this chapter or who violates any provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $750 or imprisonment for 15 days, or both, for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during which a violation occurs or is committed.
To the extent that this chapter, enacted pursuant to the authority of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York, conflicts with any state law of general or special application, including but not limited to the provisions of the Civil Practice Law and Rules relating to time limitations for commencing proceedings pursuant to Article 78 thereof, this chapter shall supersede such state law and take precedence thereover.
[Added 2-20-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997 ]
All lock boxes, e.g., Knox-type installations, which afford the providers of emergency services access to premises through a centrally located, on-site key, shall be approved by the Fire Inspector's office prior to installation on any premises within the Town.
All lock-box cylinders shall be keyed to accept a Fire Department registered key which can not be freely duplicated.