[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Pennington 6-3-1996 by Ord. No. 96-7. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings set forth herein:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- Any business operated by a person, partnership or corporation, for profit, which engages in the activity of altering, installing, leasing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, selling, servicing or responding to a fire or burglar alarm system, or which causes any of these activities to take place.
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any type of alarm-activating equipment which provides warning of burglary, intrusion, fire, flood or like peril.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- The installation in one or more buildings of one or more alarm devices for the express purpose of giving visual and/or audible warning of any emergency, such as burglary, intrusion, fire, flood or like peril.
- 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 or any other public officials when a situation requiring a response by police or fire fighters or any other public official does not in fact exist, but excluding an alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm business or alarm user.
No person shall install, operate or maintain any alarm system unless the alarm system has been registered with the Police Department. An alarm system shall be deemed registered at such time as a registration form supplied by the Police Department is completed as to all information requested therein. The fee for the initial registration shall be $25. Among the information to be provided on the registration form is the following:
The name, address and telephone number of the owner, occupant or user of the property upon which the system is installed.
The name, address and telephone number of the installer of the system.
The name, address and telephone number of the maintainer of the system.
A list of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of person(s) to be contacted in the event of an alarm or in an emergency situation determined by the Police Department.
A detailed description and location of the alarmed premises.
All alarm registrations shall be valid for one year. The registration shall be renewed on an annual basis by the filing of a new registration form and the payment of a renewal fee of $10.
The installation, activation and operation of all alarm systems shall be done in accordance with the following provisions:
Each alarm system shall be installed utilizing discrete circuitry for multipurpose and single alarm systems to ensure appropriate emergency response.
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 owners. Such battery backup system shall only be required for any alarm system which will trigger itself automatically in the event of a power outage.
Every burglar alarm system must be provided with a device which will shut off the alarm after 15 minutes of activation.
Every burglar alarm system not fitted with an external key switch shall be equipped with a time delay of at least 15 seconds which may include an audible signal of the same length of time, said time delay to be designed to prevent accidental activation of the system. The fifteen-second signal, if utilized, shall be audible only within the structure and not externally.
No alarm system may be connected directly to the alarm system located in the Police Department without the approval of the owner of the alarm system panel and Chief of Police or the officer in charge.
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 dedicated to the Police Department or Fire Department for the purpose of playing a recorded message to report any emergency.
In the event an alarm system, other than a fire or holdup alarm system, is tied into and/or serviced by a central station or answering service, upon activation of said alarm system, the central station or answering service shall verify the validity of the alarm prior to notifying the Police Department.
No police, fire or other public department or official shall be responsible in any way for the resetting or maintenance of any alarm system.
No alarm business or person owning, using or possessing an alarm system shall cause or permit the giving of repeated false alarms, whether intentional, accidental or otherwise.
A new homeowner, occupant or user possessing an alarm system shall be responsible for notifying and registering the system with the Police Department within 30 days of purchase and/or transfer of the title of the property.
All information submitted in compliance with this chapter shall be held in confidence and shall be deemed a record exempt from public disclosure pursuant to state statutes. Any violation of confidentiality shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any alarm system installed on property occupied by any a municipality, county, state, school or federal governmental agency or office. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to an independent smoke detector as defined in § 60-1.
Violations of this chapter shall result in the following penalties for alarm business owners and owners and/or users of alarm systems or devices:
Any person who fails to register said alarm system as required by the provisions of this chapter is subject to a maximum fine of $1,000, a term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof.
Any owner or user of an alarm system which experiences more than two false alarms within any twelve-month period shall be required to modify or improve said system with a retrofit which will incorporate into said system a mandatory audible fifteen-second signal which shall be designed to prevent accidental activation of the system.
Alarm business owners and owners and/or users of alarm systems shall be subject to the following minimum fine schedule for false alarms:
In addition to the requirements or penalties set forth in Subsections A, B and C above, the borough may require that offenders with multiple violations provide KNOX boxes for their building or buildings. (The actual installation of the fire apparatus in the KNOX box system and the supplying of the radio encoder shall be the responsibility of the Board of Fire Commissioners.)
In addition to the fine imposed under this chapter, any false fire alarms in excess of six in any one calendar year shall be required to reimburse the Fire Department for the actual cost of responding to the false alarm. The cost of responding to a false alarm shall be determined by the Board of Fire Commissioners, who shall certify the amount on a yearly basis. This certification shall be provided to the Pennington Borough Police Department and to the Pennington Borough Municipal Court.
Any owners or users of an alarm system who accidentally activates his/her burglar alarm and promptly notifies the Police Department within two minutes after activation will not be charged with a false alarm call. This grace period shall not apply to fire alarms.
Any owner or user of an alarm system who installs such a system not in compliance with the ordinance is subject to a minimum fine of $100. Additionally, said owner or user may be required to remove such alarm system.
Any owner or user of an alarm system shall be notified by the Borough Police Department or the Fire Official once two false alarms have occurred with said system.
Any person who intentionally causes the giving of a false alarm shall be in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3.