Numerous persons currently transmit fire alarms to the Township by one or more various means referred to as "systems" in this article. By transmitting fire alarms to the Township, such persons engage in a relation with the Township, which relation imposes reciprocal duties, responsibilities and obligations on such persons. The number of false alarms transmitted by these fire alarm systems is troublesome, burdensome and costly to the Township, its fire district, its fire-fighting personnel and its taxpayers. A need exists to curtail such false alarms. Local regulations by way of this article will serve to do so.
The purpose of this article is to provide for regulation of the installation, operation and maintenance of certain fire alarm systems within the Township, to regulate related conduct, to provide for enforcement and to provide administrative charges and other effective sanctions for false alarms and penalties for violations of this article.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- APPROVED CENTRAL STATION
- An independent alarm-monitoring system, which has not been disapproved by the Evesham Fire District as capable of verifying alarms, identifying actual fire alarms and distinguishing them from noise, movement, radiation, other kinds of emanations and signals and other kinds of alarms, and which has agreed, in writing, with the enforcing agency to retransmit only verified fire alarms and only to the fire communications central dispatch.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- A device which emits an audible signal from the premises the device is designed to protect.
- CENTRAL STATION ALARM
- A device connected to an independent alarm-monitoring firm or entity and requiring further telephone communication for fire response.
- DIRECT DIAL ALARM
- A device which, when actuated, causes a recorded message to be transmitted, via telephone, to the Township's designated fire communications central dispatch requesting fire response.
- ENFORCING AGENCY
- Evesham Fire District No. 1, Fire Prevention Division.
- FALSE ALARM
- Either a signal, message or warning transmitted to the Township's fire communications central dispatch indicating a fire condition, or an emission of an audible, visual or electronic transmission of any signal, message or warning intended to summon the services of Township fire-fighting personnel or apparatus, which signal, message or warning is activated by a cause other than one for which the transmitting system is specifically designed to respond, at a time when no fire exists.
- FIRE ALARM SERVICE COMPANY
- Performs installation, service, repair and/or maintenance on a fire alarm system and its component parts and is certified by the Division of Fire Safety, State of New Jersey.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM or SYSTEM or ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical, electrical or electronic device which is designed or used for alerting others about the existence of any condition requiring the response of fire personnel and which emits and/or transmits a signal or message to one or more locations off the premises when actuated. Alarm systems include, but are not limited to direct-dial alarms, audible alarms, central station alarms and subscriber alarms.
- FIRE COMMUNICATION CENTRAL DISPATCH
- The Burlington County Central Communications and such other future agency as the Township may utilize.
- FIRE CHIEF
- The duly appointed Chief of the Evesham Fire Department.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT OFFICER
- Any duly appointed line officer of the Evesham Fire Department.
- FIRE DISTRICT
- The Evesham Fire District No. 1.
- FIRE OFFICIAL/FIRE MARSHAL
- The duly appointed Fire Official/Fire Marshal pursuant to Township ordinances; manages the daily affairs of the enforcing agency (Fire Prevention Division).
- Inhabited by one or more individuals, whether on a continual or an occasional basis, and includes times when no individual is upon or within premises occasionally inhabited.
- An individual, corporation, partnership or other entity.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Evesham Township Police Department.
- The Township of Evesham in the County of Burlington.
- The procedure of initiating telephone contact upon receipt of a fire alarm with the protected premises to ascertain whether the fire alarm is authentic or is caused by accidental activation or alarm equipment failure or malfunction. If telephone contact by the approved central station with the protected premises cannot be made within four telephone rings, or if telephone contact is made but authentication of a fire alarm cannot be made within 45 seconds, then the approved central station shall immediately retransmit the fire alarm to the fire communications central dispatch.
Every person intending to install or cause to be installed, whether upon his premises or upon the premises of another, a fire alarm system within the Township shall file with the applicable enforcing agency, upon a form provided by the enforcing agency, an application for a certificate of registration for the fire alarm system. Each application shall include at least the following information and such additional information as the enforcing agency may prescribe:
The name, street address, mailing address and telephone number of the applicant.
If the applicant is an incorporated or unincorporated entity, the name, street address, mailing address and telephone number of the employee responsible for the installation and maintenance of the fire alarm system.
A description of the place where the fire alarm system is to be installed, including the street address and the location within the building.
The name, address, and telephone number of the person who will install the fire alarm system.
The name, address and telephone number of the person who will maintain and service the fire alarm system. A copy of every service agreement and every maintenance agreement shall be furnished to the enforcing agency before a certificate of registration will be issued.
The name, residential addresses and residential telephone numbers of at least two persons who will respond upon notification to alarms outside of usual business hours.
The certificate of registration for the system will be issued by the enforcing agency when the following items in Subsections B(1), (2) and (3) have been delivered to the enforcing agency and Subsection B(4) shall have been completed:
Evidence of approval of the application or evidence of a construction permit issued for the relevant building by the Township Construction Official.
A certificate from the installer of the fire alarm system that the components and the system are listed by a recognized agency; the components are compatible with each other; the system has been properly installed and tested by certified technicians; the system is functioning properly in all respects; and the installer has a maintenance or service contract with the owner of the system. A copy of the contract shall have been furnished as provided in Subsection A(5) hereof.
A written agreement by the owner of the system with the enforcing agency that the owner will properly maintain the system or, upon proper order of the enforcing agency, disconnect the portion of the system which transmits any fire alarm beyond the owner's premises, and keep in force a valid maintenance or service contract with a New Jersey Division of Fire Safety-certified fire alarm service company.
Review and approval of the system plans, operation and installation by the enforcing agency.
Documentation that all competent staff and family members have been trained by the fire alarm installer in the operation of the fire alarm system, including knowledge of keypad entry codes, passwords, restoring or re-setting the system after an alarm, procedures for placing the system in test and precautions to avoid a false alarm.
Proof of an active telephone land line at the protected premises separate from any telephone circuit utilized for transmitting alarm signals.
Effective January 1, 2006, all persons engaged in the installation or service of fire alarms systems, kitchen fire-suppression systems, fire sprinkler systems and special-hazard fire-suppression systems shall be certified pursuant to the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:73-2.3(d).
Every fire alarm system installer, contractor, alarm service company or licensed electrician maintaining fire alarm systems in the Township of Evesham shall provide, to the Fire Official a list of systems maintained in and or monitored within Evesham Township. Said list shall include the name and address of the customer, the name of the monitoring company and the last date on which the system received its annual service. Said list shall be provided on or before January 1 of each year.
A fire alarm system, its components and devices that are installed, maintained and monitored in accordance with the applicable standards published by the National Fire Protection Association, as are approved by the enforcing agency, may be deemed by the enforcing agency to be in compliance with the requirements for certification if it complies in all other respects with this article.
Failure to have and keep in force a valid maintenance or service contract shall be cause for the enforcing agency to cancel or withdraw a certificate of registration.
This article applies with equal force and effect to all fire alarm systems which have been or will be installed, operated or otherwise placed in service within the Township effective from the date of this article's adoption.
Neither an application nor a certificate of registration or adherence to the regulations adopted herein is required for any existing fire alarm system, except as follows:
A fire alarm system in an inhabited building upon and after the receipt of the first false alarm which does not meet the regulations as adopted herein. The application for a certificate of registration shall be filed with the Fire Official in accordance with the requirements of this article.
A fire alarm system, which is to be expanded, reduced, modified or replaced.
A fire alarm system in an existing building or other structure, including all dwelling occupancies, prior to the transfer of ownership or title. The timely application shall be the responsibility of both the transferor and the transferee and shall also be a condition of continuing occupancy.
A fire alarm system which is required to be maintained in vacant or otherwise noninhabited structures as provided in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.14) or the New Jersey Uniform Fire Prevention Code (N.J.A.C. 5:18-3.1).
The enforcing agency shall:
Be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this article, including making reasonable on-site inspections and examinations of buildings and other premises.
Develop and promulgate regulations for the installation, maintenance, service and monitoring of fire alarm systems.
Develop and promulgate regulations for the operation of fire alarm systems during construction, renovation, alteration and repair to the premises at and for which they are located.
Review and approve plans and specifications for the fire alarm systems and their installations after such plans have been reviewed and approved by the Township Fire Subcode Official.
Pass on applications for fire alarm installations and issue certificates of registration for fire alarm systems.
Issue such oral and written orders as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.
Make, keep and maintain records of all fire alarm systems, application and certificates of registration, false alarms, regulations and changes in regulations, orders issued and similar information necessary or useful to the administration of this article.
Investigate and ascertain the cause of all false alarms and maintain records of the same.
Bill for, pursue and receive payment of administrative charges.
Establish criteria for the approval of central stations.
Have discretion, in the event an investigation discloses a failure by the fire alarm system owner to take timely and appropriate remedial steps to avoid further false alarms or his disregard of related lawful orders of the enforcing agency, after explicit written notice, hand delivered, to the fire alarm system owner, or, in the event that the owner is not present at the property, to such other person as is in occupancy of the property, including the operator in control, in accordance with the regulations in this article, with the consent of the respective Fire Chief, that the respective Fire District not answer further alarms caused by or originating from such fire alarm system until such time as that system is recertified by the enforcing agency upon submission of a completed application.
Issue, or cause to be issued, summons to the Municipal Court or such other court as may have jurisdiction for failure to comply with the provisions of this Article.
No person shall:
Turn in, make, cause or knowingly participate in a false alarm.
Fail to make a timely application required by this article.
Own, possess, operate or cause to be operated a fire alarm system for which a certificate of registration has not been issued and is not in good standing, to the extent one is required by this article.
Operate or cause to be operated a fire alarm system:
In a location or manner, or in any other respect, prohibited or not permitted by this article.
Which has previously transmitted a false alarm from an inhabited building, until recertified by the enforcing agency upon submission of a completed application.
Which has been expanded, reduced or modified or is a replacement for a prior system, until certified by the enforcing agency upon submission of a completed application.
Whose certificate of registration has been canceled or withdrawn by the enforcing agency.
Which uses a smoke detector as a sensing device, wholly or partially, and which is designed to transmit (or which in fact transmits) its alarm signal to a destination other than an approved central station.
Which uses a carbon monoxide detector to transmit a fire alarm signal to a destination other than the premises at which it is installed.
Fail to comply with a lawful regulation or order of the enforcing agency or fail to pay an administrative charge for a false alarm.
Obstruct, hinder, delay or interfere by force with the enforcing agency or its authorized representative in the exercise of any power or the discharge of any function or duty provided by or reasonably implied from this article.
If he or she is the owner, tenant or such other person having a possessory right to the subject building or other premises, fail after proper request to permit the enforcing agency or its authorized representative to have prompt entry to such building or other premises for the purpose of lawful inspection or examination pursuant to this article.
Upon the first false alarm during any calendar year, an order to file an application for a certificate of registration and take corrective action, in accordance with the provisions of this article, shall be issued and served on the fire alarm system owner (and to any known possessor or operator of the system, or known occupant of the premises of the alarm system, if any of them is other than said owner).
Upon receipt of a second false alarm during a calendar year, an administrative charge shall be payable as provided under this article, and the enforcing agency shall deliver to the fire alarm system owner (and to any known possessor or operator of the system, or known occupant of the premises of the alarm system, if any of them is other than said owner) a written warning that the subject communicating device may be disconnected upon receipt of any further false alarms or alarms.
In the event that two or more false alarms are received during the same thirty-day period, or twice within a twenty-four-hour period, or the Fire Official, Fire Chief, or Fire Officer in charge may order the disconnection of the transmission apparatus from the particular fire alarm system which has transmitted such false alarms, provided that the notice procedures set forth in this article shall have been first complied with.
In the event false alarm investigation reveals that the system does not meet the standards, requirements or regulations prescribed in this article, the Fire Official, Fire Chief or Fire Officer in charge may order the immediate disconnection of the alarm system from the fire alarm transmission apparatus.
In the event evidence reveals that the cause of the alarm is the failure of the registrant building owner's, tenant's or occupant's alarm company or central monitoring station to take precautions to prevent the transmission of alarms during testing, maintenance, service or installation, the alarm company or monitoring company, as identified as the entity responsible for the unwanted false alarm, shall be subject to an administrative charge as provided in this article.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to:
The general alerting alarms that may be used by fire companies, emergency squads or emergency management agencies to summon responses of their members.
Alarm systems affixed to motor vehicles.
Alarm systems installed in public buildings owned by the Township of Evesham, Evesham Board of Education or the Evesham MUA.
Single-family dwellings and two-family dwellings.
Upon a second false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $50.
Upon a third false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $100.
Upon a fourth false alarm and upon each subsequent false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $200.
Upon a second false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $200.
Upon a third false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $300.
Upon a fourth false alarm and upon each subsequent false alarm during any calendar year, an administrative charge of $600.
Any person violating any provision of this article shall, upon conviction, be subject to:
A fine, the amount of which shall be within the discretion of and shall be fixed by the Municipal Court or other court or judicial officer having appropriate jurisdiction, but which shall in no case be greater in amount than that permitted by N.J.S.A. 40:49-5, as amended and supplemented, and other applicable laws;
A period of community service, within the meaning and limits of and as referred to in N.J.S.A. 40:49-5, as amended and supplemented, and other applicable laws; or
Both such a fine and such a period of community service.
All fines and court costs shall be payable to the Clerk of the Township Municipal Court. All fines, exclusive of court costs, assessed as a result of summonses issued by the fire officials or fire inspectors of the respective fire district will be paid thereafter by the Municipal Court Clerk to the Treasurer of said respective fire district. All court costs and all fines assessed as a result of summonses issued by anyone else shall be paid to the Township Clerk by the Municipal Court Clerk.