[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Washington 10-10-1990 by Ord. No. 90-14. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards and regulations concerning the installation, operation and maintenance of certain alarm systems within the Township of Washington.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person who owns, operates, leases or otherwise maintains any alarm system situated in the township if the alarm system has an audible signaling device or devices which request a response by the Police Department, Fire Department or the Washington Emergency Squad or any other township emergency service agency. The provisions hereof shall in no way prohibit services by a private source to provide service within or without the township so long as such activity is not violative of this chapter and provided, further, that any person owning, operating, leasing or maintaining premises protected by such an alarm system has registered the same as required by this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth herein:
- ALARM CONSOLE
- The console or control panel of devices giving a visual or audio response, or both, and located within the confines of the dispatch center providing service for the Washington Township Fire and Police Departments and other township emergency services.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any device employed to call attention to or provide warning of intrusion by any person or of fire, smoke, flood or other peril, whether the same provides a visual or audio response, alarm or warning.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- An alarm system which, when actuated, emits sound which can be heard beyond the boundaries of the premises on which it is located.
- The Township Committee of the Township of Washington.
- DIAL ALARM
- The type of automatic telephone dialing service using the telephone system to transmit an alarm of intrusion, fire, smoke, flood or other peril to the Police Department or any third party.
- DIRECT ALARM
- An alarm device which has a direct line to an alarm console.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm or signal of an alarm actuated by the inadvertence, negligence or intentional or unintentional act of a person other than an intruder, and including alarms caused by mechanical failure, malfunction or improper installation of the alarm system and related equipment but not including activations caused by power or phone line interruptions, power surges or the like, provided that such interruptions or similar events have been reported to the Police Department.
- FIRE OFFICIAL
- The Washington Township Fire Official.[Added 9-16-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-10]
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm device, other than a direct or dial alarm, which, when actuated, produces an external emergency signal.
- Any individual, person, firm, association, partnership, corporation, organization or club.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Washington Township Police Department.
- The Township of Washington, in the County of Warren and State of New Jersey.
No person shall own, operate, lease or maintain an alarm system in the township unless he shall first obtain a registration permit therefor annually. The permit shall be consecutively numbered and shall contain the location of the alarm system and the name of the owner, the installer's name and address, the type of descriptive information relating to false alarms and testing procedures, a list of names and addresses and telephone numbers of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm, a description of the system and such additional information as may be required by the Police Department.
The Police Department shall issue a registration permit for the ownership, operation or maintenance of an alarm system to any person desiring to own, operate, lease or maintain such system if the Police Department is satisfied that the information required by this section is complete and that the system is capable of being operated in conformance with this chapter. The registration permit may be granted subject to such conditions deemed necessary by the Police Department.
No alarm system shall be connected to the alarm console until and unless a registration permit has been issued for said system, and no permit shall be issued to any person for any premises located without the township without the approval of the Committee.
A fee of $10 shall be paid when filing an application for a registration permit. The application for such permit shall be submitted not later than January 31 of each year or within 30 days of the installation of the system. A registration permit shall be valid only for the calendar year of issue and shall automatically expire at 12:00 midnight on February 1, if not renewed by a successor application, or upon a change in the occupancy or use of the premises for which the permit was issued.
Any permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be expressly conditional upon the applicant's agreement to indemnify and hold the township, its agents, servants, employees, successors and assigns harmless from and on account of any damages arising from the activities of the permittee, alarm contractor or any other person.
At the time of the issuance of the permit, the Police Department shall provide each permittee with a copy of this chapter.
No connection to the alarm console shall be made until the same is authorized herein, inspected by the Police Department and approved by the dispatch center providing service for the Washington Township Fire and Police Departments and other township emergency services.
All components of an alarm system shall be maintained in good repair and shall operate in a proper manner. When evidence exists that there has been a failure to comply with the maintenance or operation requirements of this chapter, the Police Department is then authorized to demand that such alarm system be disconnected until such time as compliance herewith can be established or confirmed. The Police Department shall have the power to disconnect any malfunctioning equipment from any alarm system until such time as the malfunction can be corrected and the system is certified to be operating in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Any audible alarm shall be equipped with a timing device to limit the sounding of the signal to 15 minutes or less.
[Amended 9-16-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-10]
In the event of a false alarm or of improper maintenance or operation of an alarm system, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Fire Official. The Fire Official shall cause an investigation to be made of all false alarms and of all improper maintenance or operation of alarm systems and shall keep on file a record of such false alarms.
Where, after an investigation by the Fire Official, it is disclosed that a person has failed or refused to take remedial steps for avoiding false alarms or has failed or refused to maintain or properly operate an alarm system, the Fire Official may require, upon notice, in writing, to the owner, the temporary or permanent disconnection of the alarm system. The owner thereof shall have the right to show cause to the Fire Official why such action should not be taken or required, and any person aggrieved by the decision of the Fire Official with respect to such action shall have the right to appeal said decision to the Committee by advising the Committee, in writing, within 10 days of the decision.
The penalties for false alarms pursuant to § 42-6 shall be as follows:
[Amended 9-16-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-10]
For the first offense in any calendar year, a warning shall be issued.
For the second offense in the same calendar year, a penalty of $50 shall be assessed.
For the third offense in the same calendar year, a penalty of $150 shall be assessed.
For all false alarms in excess of three offenses in the same calendar year, a penalty of $500 shall be assessed.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or who shall commit or do any act prohibited herein shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the court. These penalties shall not apply to any violation of § 42-6 of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Fire Official.
[Amended 9-16-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-10]