[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Lewisboro 7-8-1997 by L.L. No. 6-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Lewisboro by reducing the number of avoidable alarms to the fire departments. Avoidable alarms contribute to ineffective utilization of public safety manpower and equipment. In addition, avoidable alarms require emergency responses which may contribute to a high accident rate and delayed responses to genuine emergencies. This chapter seeks to improve the effectiveness of the utilization of equipment and personnel for genuine emergencies by reducing the number of avoidable alarms.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AUTOMATIC DIAL ALARM
- A telephone device or attachment that mechanically or electronically selects a telephone line to E911 or to a fire department and reproduces a prerecorded or synthesized voice message to report a fire calling for fire department response.
- AVOIDABLE FIRE ALARM
- The activation of a fire alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the owner, user, custodian or lessee of a fire alarm system or his/her employees or agents, or through any other cause which, through connection to E911 or a fire department or through notification of E911 or a fire department by a private answering point or automatic dialing device or through notification to E911 or a fire department by any second party or means, indicates that a fire emergency situation exists requiring response within the Town when, in fact, a fire emergency situation does not exist. "Avoidable alarm" also includes the knowing or intentional activation of an alarm to E911 or a fire department when the activator knows that an emergency situation does not exist. "Avoidable alarm" does not include fire alarms activated by violent conditions of nature, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or any other similar cause beyond the control of the user of the fire alarm system. Notwithstanding any language to the contrary, the defective installation of a fire alarm system, the failure to maintain or repair or failure to cause maintenance or repair of a fire alarm system, or the use of defective equipment in connection with a fire alarm system shall not constitute an extraordinary circumstance beyond the reasonable control of the fire alarm user.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- A device or an assembly of equipment which emits an audible response which is intended to alert persons outside a premises to the existence of a fire inside the premises or which is intended to alert fire departments by automatically dialing or which is connected to a private answering point for the purpose of reporting such alarms to E911 or to a fire department.
- FIRE ALARM USER
- Any person, corporation or entity who or which owns, leases or uses a fire alarm system within the Town of Lewisboro.
No automatic dial fire alarm may be installed or used in the Town of Lewisboro.
No fire alarm system which produces an exterior audible signal shall be installed or used unless its operation is automatically restricted to a maximum of 30 minutes.
The occurrence of an avoidable fire alarm shall constitute a violation of this chapter by the fire alarm user.
Each fire department within the Town of Lewisboro shall investigate and report in writing to the Town Fire Inspector (Building Department) all avoidable fire alarms, giving the date and hour of the fire alarm, the name, address and telephone number of the alarm user, the extent of response to the alarm, the basis for determining that it was an avoidable alarm, and all pertinent details of the incident.
The Fire Inspector will keep a record of all avoidable fire alarms reported to him and the disposition of the alleged violation. He will also keep a record of each fire alarm system on which there has been reported an avoidable fire alarm, including but not limited to any determination of whether the system was an automatic dial alarm and/or contained an exterior audible system.
Upon receipt of a written report of the first incident of an avoidable fire alarm from a particular fire alarm system, the Fire Inspector shall issue a written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the alarm user and attach thereto a copy of this Chapter 117.
Upon receipt of a written report of additional avoidable fire alarms from the same fire alarm system within a period of 12 months, the Fire Inspector shall issue an appearance ticket to the fire alarm user returnable in the Justice Court of the Town of Lewisboro. The fine for the second avoidable alarm within a calendar year shall be $25, the fine for a third avoidable alarm within a calendar year shall be $50, and the fine for any additional avoidable alarm within a calendar year shall be $100.
Any person upon conviction for violation of § 117-3 or 117-4 of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation which shall be punishable as follows:
For a first violation, by payment of a fine of not less than $50 nor in excess of $150 or by imprisonment for a period of 10 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
For a second or subsequent violation, by a fine of not less than $100 nor in excess of $200 or by imprisonment for 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The provisions and requirements of this chapter shall apply to all fire alarm systems installed or in use or modified after the effective date of this chapter.