Township of Hillsborough, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hillsborough 12-23-1986 by Ord. No. 86-20 (Ch. 59 of the 1977 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 109-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards and regulations for the use of privately installed burglary, robbery and fire alarm systems, to require registrations, to establish fines and to create an administrative apparatus.

§ 109-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM BUSINESS
Any business, operated by a person for a profit, which engages in the activity of altering, installing, leasing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, selling, servicing, monitoring or responding to a fire, burglar or holdup alarm system or which causes any of these activities to take place. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this chapter, the term alarm business shall not include a developer or homeowner who sells an alarm system as part of a sale or transfer of a residential dwelling unit.
ALARM DEVICE
Any type of alarm-activating equipment which provides warning of burglary, intrusion, fire, flood or like peril.
A. 
An assembly of equipment and devices (or a single device such as a solid-state unit which plugs directly into a one-hundred-ten-volt AC line) arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which police and fire fighters are expected to respond. In this chapter, the term "alarm system" shall include but not be limited to:
(1) 
An alarm system in which a signal transmission is initiated by the action of a robber.
(2) 
An alarm system signaling an entry or attempted entry into the area protected by the system.
(3) 
Alarm systems which monitor temperature, humidity or any other condition of fire-hazard nature and not directly related to the detection of an unauthorized intrusion into a premises or an attempted robbery at a premises.
(4) 
An alarm system signaling a robbery or attempted robbery.
(5) 
An alarm system in which the signal transmission is initiated by the direct action of the person attacked or by an observer of an attack.
B. 
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this chapter, the term "alarm system" shall not include self-contained battery or electrically powered smoke detector units which give out an audible signal.
ALARM USER
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind in possession or control of any building, structure or facility wherein an alarm device or system is maintained.
FALSE ALARM
An alarm signal eliciting a response by police or fire fighters when a situation requiring a response by police or fire fighters does not in fact exist.

§ 109-3 Registration of system.

A. 
Registration shall be required for each alarm system within the Township of Hillsborough on the effective date of this chapter. Users of systems in place on that date shall complete the registration form within 30 days after this chapter takes effect.
B. 
Registration form.
(1) 
Any person utilizing an alarm system shall complete and file with the Township Clerk a registration form, which may be obtained from the Township Clerk, correctly containing the following information:
(a) 
Full name of applicant and address, including an address description which will permit the appropriate municipal department to respond to the alarm.
(b) 
Common name of alarm premises.
(c) 
Name and address of person installing, maintaining and/or owning the system.
(d) 
Description of system's operation, including, not by way of limitation, activation points of the system and the mechanism or mechanisms by which the system becomes activated.
(e) 
Name and address of person or business entity monitoring and initially responding to an activation of the alarm system and the telephone number for such person or business entity.
(f) 
Names and addresses and telephone numbers of three persons to be contacted in case of alarm and/or malfunction.
(g) 
Any additional relevant information specifically requested by the Police Chief.
(2) 
A copy of each registration form after completion shall be provided to the Police Department by the Township Clerk.
C. 
A registration fee of $10 shall be due and payable to the Township Clerk for each dwelling unit at the time the registration form is completed. Twenty-five dollars shall be due and payable for all other applicants other than dwelling unit applicants. If two separate systems or a single system with two separate functions is involved, then separate fees shall be required for each such system or function; but in no instance shall this registration fee exceed $50.
D. 
If there has occurred any material change in the information previously submitted with respect to any alarm system by the alarm user, it shall be the duty of the alarm user, within 10 days of such material change, to file a supplemental or revised registration containing accurate current information.

§ 109-4 General requirements.

A. 
All alarm systems in commercial buildings shall be equipped with batteries in case of a power failure.
B. 
Every burglar alarm must be provided with a device which will automatically set or shut off the alarm after 15 minutes after the time of activation.
C. 
Every burglar alarm system in a private dwelling shall be equipped with a time delay of at least 20 seconds in the event that the system were to be accidentally activated.
D. 
Since the alarm system is tied into, monitored by, responded to and/or serviced by a central station or answering service, upon activation of said alarm system, the central station or answering system shall verify the validity of the alarm prior to notifying the Police Department of the same unless the alarm pertains to fire, in which eventuality the Police Department shall be notified immediately without verification.
E. 
No police, fire or other public department or official shall be responsible in any way for the resetting or maintenance of any alarm system.
F. 
A new homeowner, occupant or user possessing or using an alarm system shall be responsible for notifying and recompleting the application form relative to the system with the Township Clerk within 30 days of his, her or its purchase and/or transfer of title of the property.
G. 
The acceptance of any registration form by the municipality does not constitute the municipality's acceptance or approval of the alarm system involved and shall in no manner place upon the Police Department, Fire Divisions, Township of Hillsborough or any other agency of the municipality any additional liabilities other than those statutorily incurred.
H. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any alarm system installed on property occupied by any township, county, state or federal government agency or office.
I. 
It shall be the responsibility of each and every alarm user to complete the registration form in detail, and it shall be the alarm user's responsibility to obtain the necessary information in order to satisfactorily and substantively provide the information required.

§ 109-5 Prohibited acts.

A. 
No person shall install an alarm system or use or possess an operative alarm system without compliance with § 109-3 of this chapter.
B. 
No person owning, using or possessing an alarm system shall cause or permit the giving of repeated false alarms, whether intentional, accidental or otherwise.
C. 
No person shall install, cause to be installed or permit to be installed any alarm device, by whatever name known, which automatically selects a telephone line for the purpose of playing a recorded message to report any emergency on any telephone line dedicated to the Hillsborough Township Police or Fire Divisions for voice communication.

§ 109-6 Investigation and maintenance of records of false alarms.

In the case of false alarms which summon the Police or Fire Department to investigate, the Police Chief shall cause an investigation to be made and shall keep a record of such false alarms on file. Such records shall be prima facie evidence of the contents thereof.

§ 109-7 Violations and penalties.

A. 
To alarm users and alarm businesses.
[Amended 10-11-1988 by Ord. No. 88-28; 9-11-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-24]
(1) 
Any alarm user who fails to secure a permit as specified in §§ 109-3 and 109-5 is subject to a fine of $100.
(2) 
Any alarm system which has between three and 10 false alarms within a twelve-month period is in violation of this chapter, and the alarm user and/or alarm business is subject to a fine of not less than $100 and no more than $500 for each false alarm over four. For each such false alarm over 10, the alarm user and/or alarm business shall be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.
B. 
Miscellaneous penalties.
(1) 
For each of the first and second false alarms in a twelve-month period, a verbal warning of the content of this chapter shall be given to the alarm user and/or alarm business.
[Amended 10-11-1988 by Ord. No. 88-28; 9-11-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-24]
(2) 
For the third false alarm within a twelve-month period, a written warning of the content of this chapter shall be given to the alarm user and/or alarm business.
[Amended 10-11-1988 by Ord. No. 88-28; 9-11-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-24]
(3) 
Any individual intentionally, willfully or maliciously destroying or injuring any of the posts, alarm boxes or other alarm apparatus owned by the Township of Hillsborough or intentionally, willfully or maliciously interfering with the operation of the same or any part thereof or who hinders or impedes any of the operations intended to be accomplished thereby or who intentionally causes or assists in causing a false alarm of an emergency to be given in any manner shall, upon conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of a Class C violation in accordance with the terms of § 1-15 of the Hillsborough Code.