[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Franklin 4-2-1992 by Ord. No. 92-13 (Ch. 42 of the 1988 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township Committee of this Township does hereby find and declare that:
The occupants of numerous residential and commercial establishments have found it desirable to make provision for the installation upon their premises of alarm systems for emergencies such as burglary and fire.
There have been a substantial number of false alarms associated with the alarm systems which have been installed within the Township. The number of false alarms has resulted in a situation that, if not remedied, will affect the general health, safety and welfare of the community and inhibit the response of the police and fire personnel in a true emergency and will lead to an unnecessary drain upon the manpower, time, space, facilities and finances of the Township, its police, volunteer fire departments and first aid squads and the deterioration of quality of service to persons subscribing to alarms system services and inequities among the alarm businesses operating in the Township.
The public interest, therefore, requires the enactment of rules, regulations, standards and procedures to regulate and control the alarm systems installed in the Township.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations concerning the operation and maintenance of certain alarm systems within the Township and to provide penalties for violations of any of the provisions set forth therein.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- Any business, including the person operating such business, which engages in the activity of altering, installing, leasing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, selling, servicing or responding to an alarm generated by an alarm system or which causes any of these activities to take place. Excluded from this definition, however, are businesses which manufacture, distribute or sell alarm systems which are sold at retail over-the-counter and where no servicing of the alarm system at its place of installation is provided.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any type of alarm-actuating equipment or device or assemblage of equipment or devices, which provides warning of intrusion, fire, smoke, burglary, flood or like perils, including telephone alarms and local alarms, but excluding exempt alarms.
- ALARM USER
- A person in control of a building, structure or facility wherein an alarm system is maintained.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of the Police Department of the Township.
- COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
- The Hunterdon County dispatch center, responsible for dispatching police, fire and rescue in the event of any type of emergency where a request is made for assistance, including any telephone number regularly answered by the Hunterdon County dispatch center.
- EXEMPT ALARM
- Equipment or a device designed to signal the presence of an emergency or hazard requiring urgent attention, which is either solely connected to a registered motor vehicle or designed to signal solely within a building or series of buildings and which does not emit signals, visible or audible, to persons outside such building or buildings. All medical emergency alarms are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm or signal or an alarm actuated by inadvertence, negligence or an intentional or unintentional act of a person, domestic animal and/or household pet, other than an intruder, and including alarms caused by mechanical failure, malfunction or improper installation of the alarm system and related equipment. It shall further include improper adjustment (sensitivity) to suppress false indications due to short flashes of light, wind, noises, rattling or vibrations of doors or other forces.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm system, including an audible alarm, which, when activated, produces a signal not connected to an alarm console and not dialing a telephone number, including but not limited to business burglar alarms, actuating bells or other sound-generating devices and/or light-emitting devices providing warning of intrusion or other peril.
- Any natural person, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity.
- TELEPHONE ALARM
- An alarm system which uses the public access telephone lines to dial and transmit a recorded or mechanical alarm to the communications center or a police or fire switchboard or telephone.
- The Township of Franklin, in the County of Hunterdon, State of New Jersey.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
No person shall install, operate or maintain or cause to be installed, operated or maintained an alarm system within the Township without first receiving a permit from the Township Police Department as herein provided.
All alarm systems installed, operated or maintained in the Township shall conform to the requirements of this chapter. This requirement shall apply to alarm systems already installed, operated or maintained on the effective date of this chapter (being the date of the publication of notice of the final passage of this chapter) as well as to those subsequently installed, operated or maintained or upon a change of ownership of the premises upon which the system is installed.
Applications for permits shall be on a form prescribed by the Chief of Police of the Township. Included in the information to be provided in such application shall be the following:
The name, address and telephone number of the owner or tenant or occupier of the property, if other than the owner, upon which the alarm system is installed.
The name, address and telephone number of the installer of the system.
The type of system.
A list of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the person(s) to be contacted in the event of an alarm or an emergency situation determined by the police.
The name, address and twenty-four-hour telephone numbers of the persons or company maintaining the alarm system.
Permits shall be issued by the Chief of Police or other person authorized by him as his designee.
No permit shall be issued unless the alarm system involved meets and the applicant so demonstrates the standards set forth in this chapter.
For all alarm systems, a one-time fee, as established by Chapter A140, Fees, as established by Chapter 182, Fees, of the Code of the Township of Franklin, shall be paid. For existing systems, the fee shall be paid to the Chief of Police by August 3, and for all new systems at the time of the application for the permit.
[Amended 4-18-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-03]
Upon change of ownership of the premises upon which the alarm system is installed, the new owner shall apply for a new permit as provided above.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
All alarm systems installed shall meet the following standards:
The alarm system shall be equipped with separate distinguishing signals or messages, as reasonably required by the Chief of Police, to the end that the appropriate authorities, upon receipt of a signal or message, may immediately ascertain the nature and cause of the emergency.
Telephone alarms shall be designed, installed or maintained to call only the number or numbers designated for that purpose by the Chief of Police and shall be equipped so that the message will be repeated at least once, but no more than three times. The contents of a telephone alarm message shall be clear and intelligible and in the format provided by the Chief of Police. No such message shall exceed 30 seconds in length.
All alarm systems capable of emitting audible signals shall be equipped with an operating device which will automatically, by mechanical, electrical or other means, shut off such audible signal after a maximum of 15 minutes of continuous sound audible beyond the boundaries of the premises in which the alarm system is located.
All telephone alarms shall be capable of being disconnected to allow a call to the Township police headquarters or the communications center in the event of a false alarm.
No police, fire or other public department or official shall be responsible in any way for the resetting or maintenance of any alarm system.
The sensory mechanism of the alarm system shall be adjusted so as to suppress false indications and not be actuated by impulses due to short flashes of light, wind, noises, rattling or vibrations of doors or other forces unrelated to genuine alarms.
Permits for local alarm systems shall not be issued with respect to buildings which are not owner-occupied, prior to receipt by the Chief of Police of satisfactory proof that the occupant of the building has been notified of the existence of such alarm system or of the intent to install such alarm system and of the provisions of this chapter.
Any alarm system which requires for its operation electricity supplied by a public utility may be equipped with a battery rendering it operable in the event of a power outage if so desired by the property owner. Such a battery backup shall be required for any alarm system which will trigger itself automatically in the event of a power outage.
No alarm business or person owning, using or possessing an alarm system shall cause or permit the giving of repeated false alarms, for test purpose or otherwise, whether intentional, accidental or otherwise. Owners/operators of such alarm systems shall be governed by the false alarm procedure and penalties set forth in this chapter.
The permittee is responsible for whatever changes are required by any alarm company making installation of any alarm system and, in addition thereto, such connection and maintenance charges as are required by the alarm company.
It shall be the responsibility of all persons maintaining an alarm system within the Township to leave with the Police Department the name of a person or persons who can be reached in case of an emergency or malfunction of the alarm system in order that the system can be temporarily disconnected (though there is no obligation of the Township to disconnect an alarm system).
A person owning property in the Township in which an alarm system is maintained shall notify the Chief of Police of the sale or change in tenancy of such property together with the name(s) of the new owners and/or tenants of such property. An alarm business having knowledge of such a sale of change in tenancy shall also notify the Chief of Police of such sale or change in tenancy, together with such name(s).
All information submitted in compliance with this chapter shall be held in the strictest confidence and shall be deemed a record exempt from public disclosure pursuant to state statute. Any violations of confidentiality shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
In the case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Township Police Department. In the case of false alarms, the Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made and shall keep a record of the false alarms on file.
A violation of this chapter shall exist when an alarm system emits or causes a false alarm. A two-month grace period shall be observed after the installation of any new alarm, during which time any false alarms will not be considered. The penalties in Chapter 1, Article I, General Penalty, shall apply for false alarms emitted or caused by any alarm system subject to control by the same alarm user.