[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Westfield 9-16-1996 by L.L. No. 8-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 85.
An intolerable amount of Fire Department resources are being expended in responding to alarms that have been activated other than by a fire. The purpose of this chapter is to avoid the current waste of Fire Department resources by reducing the number of false alarms to which the Fire Department must respond.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any type of alarm system actuating equipment which provides warning of fire, smoke, flood or other peril.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, improper usage or the negligence of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or through the error or negligence of employees, guests or agents of the owner or lessee of the premises. It shall include all alarm signal activation incidents which reveal no evidence of the existence of an emergency condition. Those alarm signals that have been triggered by physical damage to the protected premises as a result of hurricane, tornado, earthquake or other violent natural phenomenon are excluded from the definition of "false alarm." If the owner or lessee can furnish conclusive proof that an alarm was triggered by line trouble signals via dedicated telephone lines, then that alarm activation will not be deemed a false alarm.
- That device existing in the Fire Department of the Village of Westfield which emits audio indications, thus requiring a response thereto by the Fire Department.
- Any natural person, partnership, corporation or association or any other legal entity.
- VILLAGE CLERK
- The Village Clerk of the Village of Westfield.
No person shall install, operate or maintain any type of fire alarm system within the Village of Westfield, unless said fire alarm system has been registered with the Fire Chief and Village Clerk of the Village of Westfield in accordance with the requirements of this section.
The owner of the premises in which the alarm system is to be installed shall file with the Village Clerk and the Fire Chief a completed registration form which shall include, among other information, the location of the device, the name of the installer of said device, type of device, a description of intended testing procedures, a list of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm and other data as may be required by the Village and the Fire Chief intended to respond to any such alarm. Registration pursuant to this section may be accomplished by a lessee of the premises upon the submission of written permission therefor by the owner of such premises.
Owners of alarm systems, upon registration, shall be deemed to have consented to inspection of the premises in which said alarm devices are installed at reasonable hours by the Fire Chief or his designated representative.
All systems presently in operation within the Village shall register no later than 45 days following enactment of this chapter.
The Fire Chief shall report all false alarms relayed by all alarm systems installed within the Village and recorded pursuant to this chapter to the Village Clerk. The Village Clerk shall keep a record of all false alarms.
In the case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Fire Department, where applicable. Upon such occurrence, the Fire Chief may conduct an investigation to confirm the false alarm, if circumstances dictate that an investigation should be undertaken.
Penalties in accordance with the following schedule shall be imposed for the relay of a false alarm:
For the first five false alarms in any calendar year, a warning shall be issued by the Village Clerk.
For the next three false alarms in the same period, a fine of $100 shall be paid by the property owner to the Village of Westfield.
For each subsequent false alarm within a calendar year, the property owner shall be fined a sum of $250.
The Fire Chief shall notify the Village Clerk of all false alarms. The Village Clerk shall then cause written notice of any warning or fine imposed by this section to be mailed to the owner of the alarm system by first-class mail. All fines imposed by this section shall be paid no later than 30 days from the date of receipt of the aforesaid notice. Upon the failure of any owner of property in which an alarm system has been installed to pay a fine assessed within the time period so designated, the registration of the system at issue shall be revoked and the system shall be disconnected from the appropriate Village alarm system. Upon recommendation by the Fire Chief or the Village Clerk to the Board of Trustees of the Village of Westfield, the Village may seek to recover said fine in the Justice Court of the Village of Westfield.
Where an investigation of the Fire Department discloses a continued history of false alarms emanating from any one alarm system, i.e., more than 10 false alarms within the same calendar year, or a failure to take remedial steps to cease the issuance of false alarms, the Fire Chief shall file a report detailing such situation with the Board of Trustees and the Board shall then make a recommendation to the Mayor and the Board as to whether to revoke the registration of the system and have it disconnected from the appropriate Village alarm system.
The Fire Chief may from time to time propose rules and regulations to the Board of Trustees in order to provide for efficient recordkeeping and the management of the system described herein. Such proposed rules and regulations shall become effective upon the approval of the Board of Trustees. Upon such approval, the Village Clerk shall cause copies of such rules and regulations to be mailed to all owners of alarm systems registered pursuant to this chapter.