[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of East Rochester 3-13-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989 (Ch. 94 of the 1983 Code); amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code 3-8-1999 by L.L. No. 1-1999 (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Fire and Burglar Alarm Permit Law."
It is the purpose of this chapter to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town/Village of East Rochester by reducing the number of avoidable alarms to emergency agencies. Avoidable alarms contribute to ineffective utilization of public safety manpower and equipment. In addition, avoidable alarms require emergency responses which may contribute to high accident rates and delay responses to genuine emergencies. This chapter seeks to ensure that police and fire communications facilities will be available to dispatch police and fire personnel for actual emergencies and to alleviate the nuisance of audible alarms to the surrounding community. Another purpose of this chapter is to contact responsible people to notify them of the activation of the alarm. This chapter also requires registration of alarm businesses and subscribers with them regarding the administration of this chapter.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and phrases shall be construed herein as set forth in this section, unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended.
- ALARM BUSINESS
- The business by any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any fire alarm system or burglar alarm system or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any fire alarm system or burglar alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.
- ALARM SYSTEM INSTALLER
- Any person whose duties include installing, maintaining, repairing, altering, servicing or replacing a fire alarm system or burglar alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.
- A person who perfects an appeal pursuant to this chapter.
- A person, firm or corporation who or which filed an application for a new or renewal permit as provided in this chapter.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- A device which generates an audible sound on the premises when it is actuated.
- AVOIDABLE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the owner, user, custodian or lessee of any alarm system or his employees or agents or through any other cause which, through direct connection to an emergency agency or through notification of an emergency agency by a private answering point or automatic dialing device or through notification to an emergency agency by any other second party or means, indicates that an emergency situation exists requiring an emergency response within the Town/Village of East Rochester when in fact an emergency situation does not exist. An avoidable alarm also includes knowing or intentional activation of an alarm to an emergency agent when the activator knows that an emergency does not exist. An avoidable alarm does not include alarms activated by violent conditions of nature, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes or any other similar cause beyond the control of the user of an alarm system. Activation of an alarm system under any circumstances in which the activator reasonably believes that an emergency situation exists is not an avoidable alarm.
- BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of any unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility or used for alerting others to the commission of an unlawful act. A burglar alarm system emits a sound or transmits a signal, message or warning to the Police Department to which police officers are expected to respond.
- A calendar day.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of fire and which emits sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. Fire alarm systems include but are not limited to direct-dial telephone devices, audible alarms and proprietor. Devices which are not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside of the protected building, structure or facility are not included within this definition, nor are auxiliary devices installed by the telephone company or a cable television company to protect its system which might be damaged or disrupted by the use of an alarm system.
- FIRE MARSHAL
- The Fire Marshal of the Village of East Rochester or his deputy.
- Written notice, given by personal service upon the addressee or given by United States Mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified at his last known address. Service of such notice shall be effective upon the completion of personal service or upon the placing of the same in the custody of the United States Postal Service.
- Any alarm business which shall be granted a permit as provided herein and its agents and representatives.
- A natural person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
- POLICE CHIEF
- The Police Chief of the Village of East Rochester or his deputy.
- Any person who owns, leases, contracts for or otherwise obtains a fire alarm system or burglar alarm system. A person or entity may be both a subscriber and an alarm business.
- The Town/Village of East Rochester.
The Fire Marshal may prescribe minimum standards and regulations for the construction and maintenance of all fire alarm systems installed within the town/village, and the Police Chief may prescribe minimum standards and regulations for the construction and maintenance of all burglar alarm systems installed within the town/village. These standards and regulations shall become effective upon adoption thereof by resolution of the Village Board of the Village of East Rochester. All devices shall meet or exceed such standards and regulations before permits may be issued pursuant to this chapter. The Fire Marshal and Police Chief may require inspection and approval of all alarm systems installed within the town/village. The Fire Marshal and Police Chief may prescribe a certification form to be completed by permittees certifying that a fire alarm system or burglar alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained by the permittee and the fire alarm system or burglar alarm system conforms to said minimum standards. Installation of fire alarm systems shall comply with NFPA 72A through E or other applicable generally accepted standards in effect at the time of installation.
Every subscriber maintaining an audible alarm shall post a notice containing the names and telephone numbers of the persons to be notified to render repairs or service and secure the premises during any hour of the day or night that the alarm is actuated. Such notice shall be posted near the alarm in such a position as to be legible from the ground level adjacent to the building where the alarm system is located. In lieu thereof, such person may maintain such information with the Fire Marshal and Fire District in the case of fire alarm systems or the Police Department in the case of burglar alarm systems.
Fire Department officers or any peace officer may disable an activated alarm, and neither the Fire Department nor such official shall be liable for any damage that may result.
Every alarm installer or business engaged in the maintenance and servicing of alarm systems shall be able to respond to the location of the alarm installation within one hour after receipt of the request for his or its presence at said location by a Fire Department or Police Department official.
The fire alarm permit or burglar alarm permit shall be kept on the premises where the alarm system is located. The Fire Marshal or Police Chief may issue an appropriate permit identification tag and establish requirements for its posting.
No person shall engage in, conduct or carry on an alarm business without first applying for and receiving a license therefor in accordance with the provisions of Article 6-D of the General Business Law.
No person shall engage in, conduct or operate as an alarm installer unless he is first registered with the Fire Marshal, in the case of fire alarm systems, or the Police Chief, in the case of burglar alarm systems, on the roster of an authorized alarm business. Such registration shall be invalid if the alarm agent leaves the employ of said alarm business.
No person shall possess or use a fire alarm system without first applying for and receiving a fire alarm permit therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
No person shall possess or use a burglar alarm system without first applying for and receiving a burglar alarm permit therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Permits shall be required for alarm systems located in buildings of federal, state or local governmental agencies or authorities or in public elementary or secondary schools, and said alarm systems shall meet the other requirements of this chapter, including liability for civil penalties for its violation; provided, however, that such alarm systems shall be exempt from permit fees, and no other provisions shall be made directing the use of such alarm systems, nor shall they be discontinued nor shall their permits be suspended or revoked.
Whenever any change occurs relating to the written information required by § 91-15 of this chapter, the applicant or permittee shall give written notice thereof to the Fire Marshal, in the case of fire alarm systems, and the Police Chief, in the case of burglar alarm systems, within 20 days after such change.
The issuing authority shall be the Fire Marshal for fire alarm systems and the Police Chief for burglar alarm systems.
The approving authority shall be the Fire Marshal for fire alarm systems and the Police Chief for burglar alarm systems.
Applications for all permits required hereunder shall be filed with the Fire Marshal, in the case of fire alarm systems, or the Police Chief, in the case of burglar alarm systems, and shall be accompanied by the requisite fee. The fee is established to cover part of the cost of investigating and processing the applications and permits and is not refundable. The Fire Marshal and Police Chief shall prescribe the form of the application and request such information as is necessary to evaluate and act upon the permit application. The application for a fire alarm system or burglar alarm system shall require the name, address and telephone number of the person who will render service or repairs during any hour of the day or night.
The permit shall be denied by the Fire Marshal, in the case of fire alarm systems, or the Police Chief, in the case of burglar alarm systems, if the alarm system does not comply with standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 91-4 of this chapter. Said permit shall be issued to the person owning, using or possessing the fire alarm system or burglar alarm system. Said permit shall be revoked 90 days after the conveyance of the premises on which the fire alarm system or burglar alarm system is located unless a permittee shall certify that the fire alarm system or burglar alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained by the permittee after said conveyance and it conforms to the standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 91-4.
The Fire Marshal shall review the applications for all permits required to be issued under this chapter for fire alarm systems. The decision of the Fire Marshal shall be final.
The Police Chief shall review the applications for all permits required to be issued under this chapter for burglar alarm systems. The decision of the Police Chief shall be final.
The final determination of the Fire Marshal or Police Chief may be appealed pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
[Amended 5-14-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
The fee for an alarm system permit shall be set by the Village Board from time to time by resolution. Each permit shall expire one year after issuance. Applications for renewals of permits shall be renewed only upon the certification by a permittee that the fire alarm system or burglar alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained by the permittee within the past 90 days and it conforms to the standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 91-4. The fee for renewal of such permit shall be set by the Village Board by resolution.
The following shall constitute grounds for suspension and revocation of the alarm system permit of a subscriber:
The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter;
Where his fire alarm system or burglar alarm system actuates excessive avoidable alarms and thereby constitutes a public nuisance, which shall be deemed to be three avoidable alarms in any period of 180 days;
Where the subscriber, his employee or agent has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of a material fact in the application for a permit or in any report or record required to be filed with any village agency;
Where the subscriber has had a similar-type permit previously revoked for good cause within the past year, unless the applicant can show a material change in circumstances since the date of revocation;
Where a subscriber has failed to keep his alarm systems in good repair; or
Where a subscriber has failed to notify the Police Department, Fire District, Monroe County Fire Dispatcher and any party who would receive direct communication of an alarm prior to any service, test, repair, maintenance, adjustment, alteration or installation which might actuate an avoidable alarm. For the purposes of these standards and regulations, any alarm actuated where such prior notice has been given shall not constitute an avoidable alarm.
The Fire Marshal or his designee, in the case of fire alarm systems, or the Police Chief or his designee, in the case of burglar alarm systems, shall investigate written reports of each alleged avoidable alarm or alleged violations of other provisions of this chapter. Notice of said written report alleging violation shall be given to the subscriber.
The person alleged in violation of this chapter shall be given notice of the investigation and an opportunity to be heard during the investigative process. The Fire Marshal or Police Chief may hold a hearing if, in his sole discretion, it is deemed appropriate.
Upon completion of his investigation, the Fire Marshal or Police Chief shall make a determination, which shall be final. The Fire Marshal or Police Chief shall give notice of said decision to the person alleged to be in violation and to the party who made the report which initiated the investigation.
A final determination of the Fire Marshal or Police Chief may be appealed pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
If a person is found to be in violation of this chapter, the Fire Marshal, in the case of fire alarm systems, or the Police Chief, in the case of burglar alarm systems, shall serve the person determined to be in violation with a written order of suspension. Said order shall be effective immediately, if personally served, or three business days after the same has been deposited in the United States Postal Service.
Immediately upon such an order becoming effective, the person in violation shall discontinue use of any alarm system requiring a permit issued pursuant to this chapter and cease all operations conducted under the authority of any permit issued pursuant to this chapter.
The Fire Marshal, in the case of fire alarm systems, or the Police Chief, in the case of burglar alarm systems, may reinstate an alarm system permit upon receipt of the certification that the fire alarm system or burglar alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained subsequent to the issuance of the order of suspension and a further certification from a permittee that it conforms to the standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 91-4 of this chapter.
The order of suspension shall, if the permit is not reinstated, become a revocation 15 days after the order of suspension becomes effective, unless the subscriber or permittee initiates an appeal from the determination of the Fire Marshal or Police Chief.
Where an appeal has been initiated, the order of suspension shall be stayed pending the determination of said appeal.
If any permit is revoked pursuant to this chapter, the subscriber or permittee shall surrender said permit to the Fire Marshal, in the case of a fire alarm system, or the Police Chief, in the case of a burglar alarm system.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
A person who engages in the manufacture or sale of a fire alarm system or burglar alarm system from a fixed location and who neither visits the location where the fire alarm system or burglar alarm system is to be installed nor designs the scheme for physical location and installation of the fire alarm system or burglar alarm system in a specific location.
Audible alarms affixed to automobiles.
In addition to other provisions of this chapter, persons in violation thereof shall be liable for civil penalties as follows:
Failure to have an alarm system permit: $100 for each violation; provided, however, that until one year from the effective date of this chapter said penalty shall be deemed waived if the subscriber obtains an alarm system permit within 10 days of notification of the violation.
All remedies shall be cumulative, and the use of one or more remedies by the village shall not bar the use of any other remedy for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter. The amount of any fee shall be deemed a debt to the Village of East Rochester. An action may be commenced in the name of the Village of East Rochester in any court of competent jurisdiction for the amount of any delinquent permit fee or civil penalty. All permit fees shall be due upon issuance of the permit.
Information contained on applications for permits required under this chapter shall be confidential.
Records of avoidable alarms of subscribers shall be deemed to be confidential.
Records of avoidable alarms on the equipment of any alarm business shall be indexed under the alarm business which installed and/or certified it to be in conformance with the standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 91-4 of this chapter. Said records shall be available to the public.
All information on applications pertaining to avoidable alarms shall not be deemed confidential insofar as it is necessary to conduct any litigation under this chapter or to be provided to appropriate officials for fire protection or police protection purposes.
The Fire Marshal, in the case of fire alarm systems, and the Police Chief, in the case of burglar alarm systems, shall retain all records regarding applications, avoidable alarm reports, investigations and all other data necessary for compliance with this chapter.