Talbot County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Talbot County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 8-8-2000 by Bill No. 765]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used herein, shall have their respective definitions, unless a different meaning appears from the context:
A. 
Any request for immediate assistance by the Fire Department regardless of cause that is not in response to an actual emergency situation.
B. 
"False alarm" includes:
(1) 
Negligently or accidentally activated signals;
(2) 
Signals that are the result of faulty, malfunctioning, or improperly installed or maintained equipment; and
(3) 
Signals that are purposely activated to summon the Fire Department in a nonemergency.
C. 
"False alarm" does not include signals activated by unusually severe weather conditions or causes beyond the control of the alarm user.
FIRE ALARM
Any audible building alarm, any automatic telephone dialing device with a recorded message, any silent/audible phone-in alarm system called in by an alarm company, monitoring service with either a live or recorded message and any signal alarm connected to any fire installation.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system, or portion of a combination system, consisting of components and circuits arranged to monitor and annunciate a fire alarm, or supervisory signal-initiating devices designed to initiate the appropriate response to those signals.
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM
Any fire alarm device or system, fire extinguishing device or system, or combination thereof, designed and installed for detecting, controlling, or extinguishing a fire or otherwise alerting occupants, the Fire Department, or both that a fire is or has occurred.
NUISANCE ALARM
Any unnecessary or nonemergency response by a fire company caused by a semblance or likeness of smoke, flame, or combination thereof, such as, but not limited to, fog or mist, on or within any structure or premises.
No fire protection system shall be installed, enlarged, or modified until a permit has been obtained in the name of the owner of the premises by either the owner of the premises or a fire protection system business which installs, services or maintains the fire protection system. Plans and specifications shall be submitted, reviewed and approved by the Fire Official prior to the installation of the fire protection system. All fire protection systems shall be installed, maintained and tested in accordance with applicable codes and standards. All installations of new fire protection systems shall be inspected, tested, and approved, by the Fire Marshal or his designee before final acceptance.
A. 
The owner of any premises with a fire alarm system shall be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system and for compliance with this article.
B. 
The owner shall make available to the Fire Department:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone numbers of at least two persons who can be contacted by members of the Fire Department in the event of activation of the fire alarm system, who can respond to the premises within 15 minutes after receiving notification, and who are authorized to enter the premises to ascertain the status thereof. If no contact individual responds within 15 minutes, the Fire Department shall be authorized to enter the property to ensure no hazard exists, and the owner shall have no recourse for any damage to the property caused by the entry. The owner may also have a Knox Box installed on the property to allow the Fire Department access to the property to investigate the nature and source of any problem while they are waiting for a responder.
(2) 
The name, address, business and telephone number of the owner, lessee, operator, manager or person in possession of the premises where the fire alarm system is installed.
(3) 
When any of the information required in Subsection A(1) or (2) of this section has changed, the owner shall report the same in writing to the appropriate fire office within 15 days of such change.
(4) 
When fire personnel are unable to make any contact with any individual identified in Subsection A(1) due to noncompliance with this article, or if any individual who is contacted fails to respond within 15 minutes, the incident will be treated as a false alarm and the owner will be subject to any fine assessed thereunder.
(5) 
All fire alarm pull stations, existing or new, shall be equipped with a safety cover approved by the Fire Marshal.
The owner of an alarm system that is negligently or accidentally activated as the result of faulty, malfunctioning, or improperly installed or maintained equipment or as the result of a nuisance alarm shall be subject to fine of $250 for each alarm exceeding two in any calendar year. Within 30 days after any such alarm, the owner must have the alarm system serviced by a certified alarm company and present proof to that effect to the local fire official of the responding fire company, and in default shall be subject to a fine of $250. This section shall not apply to alarm systems activated by acts of God, weather conditions or causes beyond the control of the alarm user or owner.
The Chief Officer of any Fire Department and/or the Fire Marshal may order abatement and/or discontinuance of the use of any equipment, device, appliance, and/or system that has caused more than two nuisance alarms in any calendar year.
[Amended 11-13-2007 by Bill No. 1108]
A. 
The Fire Marshal or his designees shall have the right to inspect any fire protection system on the premises where it is installed during reasonable hours. The Fire Marshal, any Deputy Fire Marshal, any certified law enforcement officer, and the Chief Code Compliance Officer and his designees appointed pursuant to Chapter 58, Talbot County Code, shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this article.
B. 
Failure to comply with the provisions of this article shall be a municipal infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. Any such municipal infraction shall be prosecuted in accordance with the procedures provided by Art. 23A, § 3, Annotated Code of Maryland (1999 Cum. Supp.), as amended.
C. 
In addition to any other remedy or penalty provided by law, this article may be enforced by the Chief Code Compliance Officer and his designees in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 58, Talbot County Code. Civil penalties imposed pursuant to Chapter 58 shall not exceed $250 per violation.