[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cornwall 10-10-1995 by L.L. No. 2-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention — See Ch. 84.
The Town Board of the Town of Cornwall recognizes that there are an increasing number of alarm systems being installed in residential and nonresidential structures in the unincorporated area of the Town of Cornwall. These alarms are designed to provide notice of an emergency situation, including unauthorized entry into a structure or facility or an unauthorized activity within the structure, and may include a fire alarm as well. In many cases, the notice of the emergency situation is transmitted to the Cornwall Police Department, which responds by dispatching a police officer or officers to the scene of the activated alarm. The Town Board has determined that in a number of cases the activation of the alarm system is caused by other than an emergency. These false alarms can cause an undue burden upon the Police Department, both because the responses to false alarms may delay the response to an actual emergency situation and because of the expense incurred by the Department in responding to false alarms. The Town Board does not wish to take any action which would deter or limit the use of alarm systems, but it does wish to enact regulations which will encourage the proper maintenance of alarm systems by designating as a violation of the penalty provisions of the Code of the Town of Cornwall excessive false alarms, as defined in this chapter.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall be defined as set forth below:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a structure or facility or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act within the structure or facility or the detection of a fire, and which device emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when actuated.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- A device which functions as an alarm system by generating an audible sound in the structure or facility when it is actuated.
- DIRECT DIALER ALARM
- A device which functions as an alarm system and includes equipment that automatically or electronically selects a telephone line connected to a central alarm station and transmits a prerecorded message to report an unauthorized entry into a structure or facility or a fire requiring emergency response.
- FALSE ALARM
- An audible alarm and/or a direct dialer alarm to which the Cornwall Police Department responds when an emergency situation does not exist. A false alarm caused by telephone-line faults, power outages or severe weather conditions when no emergency situation exists is not a false alarm as defined herein.
- A natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or other entity who or which purchases, leases, contracts for or otherwise obtains or uses an alarm system.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Police Department of the Town of Cornwall.
- PROPRIETOR ALARM
- An alarm system which is not serviced by a person engaged in the business of servicing alarm systems.
- SUBSCRIBER ALARM
- An alarm system which is serviced by a person engaged in the business of servicing alarm systems.
Every audible alarm shall be equipped with an automatic cutoff device which will deactivate the audible alarm not later than 20 minutes from the initial activation of the audible alarm.
Every person as defined above shall provide the Police Department with the name, address and telephone number of a primary and of a secondary individual to be contacted in the event of activation of the alarm system. Each of these individuals shall be provided with the necessary equipment or code to deactivate the alarm system. Every such person must advise the Police Department with the information concerning the primary and secondary individuals within 24 hours of the installation of any alarm system and must notify the Police Department within 24 hours of any changes in either the name, address or telephone number of either the primary or the secondary individual to be contacted. The failure to provide accurate information shall constitute a violation of this chapter. The failure to provide the information within the twenty-four-hour period shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
Every person shall provide the Police Department with detailed directions to the structure or facility which is alarmed, together with a description of the structure or facility.
If an alarm system activates more than four false alarms within a thirty-day period or more than 10 false alarms within a twelve-month period, the alarm system shall be deemed to be a noncomplying alarm system. The Police Department shall not be obligated to provide a priority response to any alarm activations from a noncomplying alarm system until the Police Department has received written notification of repairs to the alarm system, which written notification shall be signed either by the owner or lessee of a proprietor alarm or by the person servicing a subscriber alarm.
To the extent permitted by law, all information provided to the Police Department shall not be subject to public inspection and shall be maintained by the Police Department in confidence.
The provisions of this chapter are not applicable to alarm systems installed in motor vehicles.
Any person who violates any provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a violation and shall be subject to the general penalty provisions of § 1-11 of the Code of the Town of Cornwall.