Township of Buena Vista, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Buena Vista as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Construction code enforcement — See Ch. 104.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 142.
[Adopted 11-8-2007 by Ord. No. 21-2007[1] (Ch. 32, Art. I, of the 1993 Code)]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 32, Alarms, adopted 7-5-2005 by Ord. No. 11-2005.
The purpose of this article is to establish standards and regulations concerning the installation, operation and maintenance of certain alarm systems within the Township of Buena Vista and to reduce or eliminate false alarms.
Certain words and phrases are used in this article which, for the purpose hereof, are defined as follows:
ALARM SYSTEM
Mechanical or electronic device or system designed or used to detect unauthorized entry into a building, structure or area or to alert the Police, Fire Department or any other agency or person to a potential problem at any location within the Township of Buena Vista.
FALSE ALARM
Any activation of an alarm device or system which alerts the Police, Fire Department and/or any other agency or person for any reason other than that which would constitute an actual criminal offense, emergent event or incidental alarm by utilizing light, noise, a central alarm monitoring station or any other means.
INCIDENTAL ALARM
Any activation of an alarm device or system in which two or more alarms in close proximity are activated by a related event at approximately the same time.
Any central alarm monitoring station which monitors alarm equipment located in the Township must register with the Township of Buena Vista and thereafter report each alarm connected to it which originates from the Township.
A. 
All owners or lessees of alarm equipment employing the services of a central alarm monitoring station must register with the Township Clerk of the Township of Buena Vista prior to installation of the alarm system or, in the case of an existing alarm system, within 60 days from the effective date of this article.
B. 
There shall be no fee charged for registration of alarm systems.
C. 
Any owner or lessee who fails to register within the prescribed period shall disconnect the alarm system and shall discontinue using the services of any central alarm monitoring station.
D. 
All owners or lessees not employing the services of a central alarm monitoring station must also register with the Township Clerk of the Township of Buena Vista. (Registration will permit the Township of Buena Vista to contact the owner, lessee or his representative in the event of an emergency.) Owners or lessees of alarm equipment not using the services of a central alarm monitoring station must comply with §§ 64-5 through 64-13.
E. 
All information provided to the Township must be kept current and the Township Clerk must be notified of changes in information in the registration no later than 30 days following the applicable change.
Alarm equipment which utilizes an audible alarm must be equipped with a timing device which will limit the period during which the alarms will sound to a maximum of 15 minutes.
Alarm equipment which utilizes voice recordings is prohibited from dialing any telephone lines utilized by the Township of Buena Vista.
All alarm equipment suppliers and employees who install, maintain or service alarm systems or automatic protection devices in the Township must have received, and upon request provide proof of, licensure under N.J.S.A.A 45:5A et seq. prior to the installation or service of any alarm system in the Township.
All alarm equipment suppliers doing business in the Township must provide the purchaser or lessee of said equipment with a copy of this article and the forms necessary for registering with the Township of Buena Vista.
All alarm equipment suppliers shall make service available on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis, seven days a week, to repair and correct any malfunction to their alarm systems.
At the time of installation, the alarm equipment suppliers shall furnish to any buyer or lessee written information as to how repair service may be obtained at any time, including the telephone number of the alarm system supplier or agent responsible for service. The buyer or lessee and the alarm equipment supplier shall be responsible for having the device disconnected or repaired immediately upon notice that the alarm system is not functioning properly.
If an alarm system fails to comply with its operational requirements and the State Police conclude the alarm system should be disconnected in order to relieve the burden of responding to false alarms, the State Police shall have the right to require the owner or lessee or his representative to disconnect the alarm system until it is made to comply with the operational requirements. Any notification requesting disconnection of an alarm system shall be by certified mail with return receipt requested. If disconnection of the defective alarm is not accomplished promptly and the State Police determine the malfunctioning alarm system is repeatedly sending false alarms, the violations and penalties stated herein under § 64-13 will apply.
The owner or lessee of any alarm system shall be permitted five false alarms in each calendar year. After that, such owner or lessee shall be subject to the penalties in § 64-13.
A. 
Any person, company, corporation or organization who fails to comply with the requirements of § 64-12 shall be subject to the following notices, fees and/or penalties:
(1) 
Any owner or lessee of an alarm incurring his fifth false alarm for the calendar year will be subject to a written warning of violation.
(2) 
Any owner or lessee of an alarm incurring his sixth through eighth false alarm for the calendar year will be assessed an administrative fee of $25 per violation.
(3) 
Any owner or lessee of an alarm incurring his ninth through 12th false alarm for the calendar year will be assessed an administrative fee of $50 per violation.
(4) 
Any owner or lessee of an alarm incurring his 13th or subsequent false alarm for the calendar year will be assessed an administrative fee of $100 per violation.
B. 
Payment of an assessed administrative fee is due within 30 days from notification of violation. Failure to comply will result in the Township of Buena Vista utilizing the Penalty Enforcement Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq., to collect the fees due.
C. 
Nothing listed in this article shall be construed as to prohibit other sanctions provided herein from being levied against persons, corporations, organizations or businesses who violate the provisions of § 64-12 of this article. Any owner, lessee or user of an alarm system who has not made proper payment on assessed false alarm violation fees may be prosecuted under the provisions of this section of the article. The fine for violation of § 64-12 shall, upon conviction in municipal court, be $200 per false alarm.
D. 
Any person, company, corporation or organization who fails to comply with the requirements of this article, excluding § 64-12, shall, upon conviction in municipal court, be subject to a fine of no more than $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. Each day's failure to comply with such provisions shall constitute a separate violation.
The Township of Buena Vista is under no obligation and assumes no duty to any owner, lessee or other person by reason of the registration of, or the failure to register, any alarm system or by reason of the response or failure to respond to any alarm system.
A. 
The provisions of this article shall not apply to alarms that may be used by fire companies, rescue squads or civil defense agencies to summon the response of their members.
B. 
The provisions of this article shall not apply to alarm systems that are affixed to motor vehicles, unless any such system shall be connected to or report through any alarm system installed at or affixed to a generally considered permanent structure.
C. 
The provisions of this article shall not apply to any alarm system owned, operated or maintained by the Township of Buena Vista.
[Adopted 2-11-2008 by Ord. No. 5-2008 (Ch. 32, Art. II, of the 1993 Code)]
The purpose of this article is to establish standards and regulations concerning the installation, operation and maintenance of fire alarm systems; to encourage home owners and businesses to properly use and maintain the operational effectiveness of fire alarms; to improve safety and reliability of fire alarm systems and reduce or eliminate false fire alarms within the Township of Buena Vista.
Certain words and phrases are used in this article which for the purpose hereof, are defined as follows:
FALSE FIRE ALARM
The activation of any fire alarm system which results in a response by the Fire Department and which is caused by the failure to notify of testing, negligence, intentional misuse, mechanical failure, improper installation or lack of maintenance of the alarm system by the owner, its employees, agents or any other activation of the fire alarm system not caused by heat, smoke or fire. The provisions of this section shall apply to any person who operates, maintains or owns any alarm device or local alarm designed to summon fire departments to any property in response to any type of fire alarm signal. This section shall not apply to municipally owned property.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system or portion of a combination system consisting of components and circuits arranged to monitor and/or exterior annunciate the status of a fire alarm or supervisory signal-initiating devices and to initiate the appropriate response to those signals.
FIRE WATCH
The responsibility of the owner or person in charge of premises in or upon which the operation of fire protection systems has been interrupted to diligently restore protection.
INCIDENTAL ALARM
Any activation of an alarm device or system in which two or more alarms in close proximity are activated by a related event at approximately the same time.
Any person or agency responsible for monitoring automatic fire alarm or fire-suppression systems located within the Township of Buena Vista shall immediately notify Buena Vista Township's dispatch center upon activation of said alarm. Exceptions to notification shall be in residential properties if the proper password or code is supplied to the monitoring agency. Commercial properties will not be allowed to verify fire alarm activation. A response from the Fire Department will be made to investigate said alarm.
Any central alarm monitoring station which monitors alarm equipment located in the Township must register with the Township of Buena Vista and thereafter report each alarm connected to it which originates from the Township.
When a fire alarm occurs in any commercial building, structure or premises containing a fire alarm or fire protection system, except those included in Use Group R-3 and 1-2, as defined in the Uniform Fire Code, the occupants will be notified, and once so notified, shall immediately leave the structure or premises. Once notified, no persons shall enter or reenter until authorized to do so by the Fire Chief, Fire Official or his representative. Any person who refuses to leave, interferes with the evacuation of other occupants or continues any operation after having been given an evacuation order, except such work as that person is allowed to perform, shall be deemed in violation of the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code and be subject to a penalty and/or arrest as provided therein.
The officer-in-charge of the Fire Department or the Fire Marshal may, in accordance with NFPA Standard 13E, 1995 edition, and generally recognized safety practice, require a qualified person to stand fire watch when fire protection cannot be immediately restored. The watchman shall be a qualified watchman or responsible agent of the owner or the owner. The fire watch shall continue until the protection is restored or until a determination is made by the Fire Marshal that any imminent hazard has ceased. The watchman shall make an hourly report of his/her observation and activities of said premises to the Bureau of Fire Prevention. All watchmen shall be familiar with notification procedures to the Fire Department, as well as the location of control valves and their operation.
Alarm equipment which utilizes an audible alarm must be equipped with a timing device which will limit the period during which the alarms will sound for a maximum of 15 minutes.
Alarm equipment which utilizes voice recordings is prohibited from dialing any telephone lines utilized by the Township of Buena Vista.
All alarm equipment suppliers doing business in the Township must provide the purchaser or lessee of said equipment with a copy of this article and the forms necessary for registering with the Township of Buena Vista.
A. 
All alarm equipment suppliers shall make service available on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis, seven days a week, to repair and correct any malfunction to its alarm system.
B. 
At the time of installation, the alarm equipment supplier shall furnish to any buyer or lessee written information as to how repair service may be obtained at any time, including the telephone number of the alarm system supplier or agent responsible for service.
C. 
The buyer or lessee and the alarm equipment supplier shall be responsible for having the device disconnected or repaired immediately upon notice that the alarm system is not functioning properly.
All alarm equipment suppliers and employees who install, maintain or service alarm systems or automatic protection devices in the Township must have received and, upon request provide, proof of licensures under N.J.S.A. 45:5A et seq. prior to the installation or service of any alarm system in the Township.
Fire alarm companies and/or monitoring companies shall notify, in writing, the Fire Prevention Bureau of all discontinued service of any commercial fire alarm.
A. 
The owner or lessee of any alarm system shall be permitted three false alarms in each calendar year. After that, such owner or lessee shall be subject to the following penalties:
[Amended 6-13-2011 by Ord. No. 4-2011]
(1) 
For the first through third alarm for calendar year: a violation notice shall be issued.
(2) 
Fourth alarm: a penalty of $50.
(3) 
Fifth alarm: a penalty of $75.
(4) 
Sixth alarm: a penalty of $100.
(5) 
All other alarms: penalty will increase by $50 each.
B. 
Payment of an assessed administrative fee is due within 30 days from notification of violation. Failure to comply will result in the Township of Buena Vista utilizing the Penalty Enforcement Law, N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq. to collect the fees due.
Commercial property owners or authorized representatives with access to all areas of buildings and knowledge of alarm system operation shall be required to be on site within 30 minutes of notification of a fire alarm. Failure to comply with this section shall result in an initial warning. Thereafter, at the discretion of the Fire Marshal, the owner or representative shall be charged with violating this section and a fine of up to $50 shall be imposed by the court.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
The Incident Commander shall certify in writing to the Fire Marshal any false alarm and violation of § 64-20 prior to the issuance of any notice of violation or penalty. The certification shall include the name of any occupant who failed to evacuate and the date and time of occurrence.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
The Fire Marshal shall investigate and keep a record of false alarms responded to by the Fire Departments.