Township of South Fayette, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of South Fayette as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire Department — See Ch. 30.
Police Department — See Ch. 69.
[Adopted 3-20-2000 by Ord. No. 1-2000[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 97, Alarm Systems, adopted 11-16-1998 by Ord. No. 409.
For purposes of this article, the following terms are defined as follows:
ALARM
A communication to the Police Department indicating that a crime, fire or other emergency situation warranting immediate action by the Police Department has occurred or is occurring.
ALARM DEVICE
A mechanical device designed to automatically transmit an alarm by wire, telephone, radio or other means.
A. 
Directly to the Police Department.
B. 
To a person who is instructed to notify the Police Department of the alarm.
CENTRAL RECEIVING STATION
The alarm console or control panel installed in the Police Department for the purpose of giving visual or audio response to direct alarm devices.
DIRECT ALARM DEVICE
An alarm device, other than a telephone dialer alarm designed to transmit an alarm directly to the Police Department.
FALSE ALARM
An alarm to which the Police Department responds resulting from the activation of an alarm device when a crime, fire or other emergency warranting immediate action by the Police Department has not, in fact, occurred.
INDIRECT ALARM DEVICES
An alarm device designed to transmit an alarm to a person who is instructed to notify the Police Department of the alarm.
INTENTIONAL FALSE ALARM
A false alarm resulting from the intentional activation of an alarm device by an individual under circumstance where that individual has no reasonable basis to believe that a crime, fire or other emergency warranting immediate action by the Police Department has occurred or is occurring.
PERMIT HOLDER
A person to whom the Police Department has issued an alarm device permit.
PERSON
An individual, corporation, partnership, incorporated association or other similar entity.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Police Department of the Township of South Fayette.
TELEPHONE DIALER ALARM DEVICE
An alarm device designed to automatically transmit a recorded message over regular telephone lines directly to the Police Department.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for a property owner, lessee of property or a person otherwise occupying a premises within the Township of South Fayette to put an alarm device into operation on his premises or to allow an alarm device to be put into operation on his premises without first obtaining an alarm device permit from the Police Department. It shall also be unlawful for a property owner, lessee of property or a person otherwise occupying a premises outside of the Township of South Fayette to put an alarm device which terminates at the Police Department into operation on his premises or to allow such an alarm device to be put into operation on his premises without first obtaining an alarm device permit from the Police Department.
B. 
Application.
(1) 
In order to apply for an alarm device permit, a person must submit an application to the Police Department stating the following:
(a) 
His name.
(b) 
His home and business addresses and the telephone number of each.
(c) 
The location at which the alarm device will be installed and operated.
(d) 
The names, addresses and telephone numbers of any individuals who have keys to the premises at which the alarm device is located and who are authorized to enter the premises at any time, but who do not reside at the location of the alarm device.
(e) 
A complete description of the alarm device.
(f) 
If the alarm device is to be leased or rented from, or is to be serviced pursuant to a service agreement by, a person other than the person making application for an alarm device permit, the name, address and telephone number of that person. In addition, each person submitting an application for an alarm device permit shall submit a signed statement in the following form:
"I (We) the undersigned Applicant(s) for an alarm device permit, intending to be legally bound hereby, state that neither I (we), nor anyone claiming by, through or under me (us), shall make any claim against the Township of South Fayette for any damage caused to the premises at which the alarm device, which is the subject of this application, is or will be located, if such damage is caused by a forced entry to said premises by employees of the Township of South Fayette in order to answer an alarm from said alarm device at a time when said premises are or appear to be unattended or when, in the discretion of said employees, circumstances appear to warrant a forced entry.
(2) 
The Police Department shall furnish forms upon which any person wishing to apply for an alarm device permit may submit his application.
C. 
A person applying for an alarm device permit for a telephone dialer alarm device or an indirect alarm device shall submit a fee, as established pursuant to a resolution, along with his application to cover the cost of issuing the permit.
D. 
The Police Department shall, within three weekdays from receipt of an application for an alarm device permit, either grant an alarm device permit to the applicant or notify the applicant in writing that his application has been denied and the reason or reasons why it has been denied.
E. 
An application for an alarm device permit may only be denied for the following reasons:
(1) 
The application submitted by the applicant does not conform to § 97-2 of this article.
(2) 
The applicant's alarm device does not conform to the operational standards set forth in § 97-3.
F. 
Notwithstanding the language contained in § 97-2A of this article, it shall not be unlawful for a person to continue to operate an alarm device on his premises without an alarm device permit for a period of 90 days after the effective date of this article, provided that said alarm device was in operation on the effective date of this article.
G. 
The Police Department shall have the power to revoke any alarm device permit. An alarm device permit shall be revoked by notifying the permit holder in writing that his alarm device permit has been revoked and the reason or reasons why it has been revoked. Said written notice shall be:
(1) 
Delivered personally to the permit holder, in which case the revocation shall be effective immediately upon delivery; or
(2) 
Mailed to the permit holder at his last known address by regular mail, postage prepaid, in which case the revocation shall be effective three days after mailing.
H. 
An alarm device permit may only be revoked for the following reasons:
(1) 
Failure of an alarm device to conform to the operational standards set forth in § 97-3.
(2) 
Failure of a permit holder to pay a false alarm charge assessed to him by the Police Department under the provisions of § 97-4 of this article within 30 days of the mailing to him of a notice of the assessment of a false alarm charge.
(3) 
The occurrence of more than 25 false alarms from an alarm device during any calendar year.
(4) 
The occurrence of two intentional false alarms, within 30 days, caused by the permit holder or by an individual over the age of 15 who resides on the premises where the alarm device is located.
(5) 
Failure of a permit holder with a direct alarm device to pay the Police Department installation or maintenance fees assessed to him under § 97-6 of this article within 30 days of the due date thereof.
I. 
A person who has had his alarm device permit revoked under Subsections G and H of § 97-2 of this article may reapply for an alarm device permit 45 days after the effective date of such revocation; provided, however, that if a person's alarm device permit was revoked for nonpayment of a false alarm charge or for nonpayment of installation or maintenance fees, or both, the Police Department shall deny said application unless such charge or fee, or both, have been paid. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a person who has had his alarm device permit twice revoked on the basis of an occurrence of an intentional false alarm may not reapply for an alarm device permit for one year from the effective date of the second revocation.
A. 
If an alarm device is designed to transmit a recorded message directly to the Police Department, the duration of such recorded message shall not exceed 15 seconds. The contents of the recorded message shall be intelligible and in a format approved by the Police Department.
B. 
An alarm device shall be designed so that a thirty-second delay occurs between the time the alarm device receives a triggering stimulus and the time the alarm device transmits an alarm.
C. 
A telephone dialer alarm device shall be designed so that it dials only specific telephone numbers designated by the Police Department. It shall be the duty of the Police Department to designate telephone numbers for use by permit holders with telephone dialer alarm devices.
D. 
A direct alarm device shall be designed so that it interfaces with the central receiving station maintained by the Police Department.
E. 
If an alarm device is designed to cause a bell, siren or sound-making device to be activated on or near the premises on which the alarm device is installed at the time it gives an alarm, said alarm device shall be designed to deactivate the bell, siren or other sound-making device after five minutes of operation.
F. 
All alarm devices shall meet the applicable standards of the Underwriters Laboratories and/or the National Fire Protection Association and/or other recognized industry standards. The applicant for a permit may be required to submit evidence of the reliability and suitability of the alarm device.
G. 
The sensory mechanism used in connection with an alarm device must be adjusted to suppress false indications of fire or intrusion so that the alarm device will not be activated by impulses due to transient pressure change in water pipes, short flashes of light, wind noises, such as the rattling or vibrating of doors or windows, vehicular noises adjacent to the premises or other forces unrelated to genuine alarm situations.
H. 
The alarm device must be maintained by the permit holder in good repair to assure reliability of operation.
It shall be unlawful to cause an intentional false alarm.
A. 
False alarm charge.
(1) 
A permit holder shall pay a fee to the Township of South Fayette for each false alarm in excess of three in a twelve-month period. The fee for each false alarm shall be in an amount as established from time to time by resolution.
(2) 
When a false alarm occurs in excess of the three permitted false alarms in the twelve-month period, the Police Department, within 10 days from the date of each false alarm, shall notify the permit holder of the alarm device from which the false alarm emanated that a false alarm charge is due and the amount thereof, if any. Such notice shall be in writing and mailed to the permit holder at his last known address by regular mail, postage prepaid. Failure of the Police Department to mail notice of assessment of a false alarm charge within 10 days from the occurrence of a false alarm shall preclude the Township of South Fayette from assessing a false alarm charge for said false alarm.
B. 
Maintenance fees.
(1) 
In addition, a permit holder who has a direct alarm device shall pay a yearly fee for the maintenance of the central receiving station. This maintenance fee shall be determined by the Police Department on an annual basis each July by prorating the maintenance costs among the number of permit holders at the time using the central receiving station, regardless of how long a permit holder has been connected to the central receiving station. The Police Department shall annually notify each permit holder who has a direct alarm device of the amount of the assessment for the maintenance of the central receiving station. Such notice shall be in writing and mailed to the permit holder at his last known address by regular mail, postage prepaid. The maintenance fee shall be due and payable at the office of the Police Department 30 days from the date of the notice of assessment of the maintenance fee.
(2) 
The fee for connection of a direct alarm device to a central receiving station shall be due and payable at the headquarters of the Police Department at the time an alarm device permit is issued to an applicant for such a permit. The Police Department shall not issue an alarm device permit to an applicant until such fee is paid.
(3) 
The Police Department shall not in any way be obligated to provide or continue to provide a central receiving station facility or facilities for direct alarm devices; provided, however, that if the Police Department decides to discontinue operation of a central receiving station facility, it shall notify all permit holders serviced by said facility of its intention to discontinue operation of the facility by sending written notice thereof to each permit holder at his last known address by regular mail, postage prepaid, at least 60 days prior to the discontinuance of the operation of said facility.
(4) 
Failure of a permit holder to pay a yearly fee for the maintenance of a central receiving station to which a direct alarm device is connected within 30 days of the date said payment is due shall subject such permit holder to the disconnection of his direct alarm device from the central receiving station and to the revocation of his alarm device permit under Chapter 97, § 97-2, G and H.
If the location of the headquarters of the Police Department should change at any time, the Township of South Fayette shall not be responsible for any cost incurred by permit holders or other persons in the relocation of alarm devices because of said change in location.
The issuance of any permit shall not constitute acceptance by the Township of South Fayette of any liability to maintain any equipment, to answer alarms, or for anything in connection therewith.
Whenever, under the provisions of this article, the Police Department is empowered to make a decision with respect to the installation, operation or maintenance of any alarm device, or with respect to the denial or revocation of any permit relating thereto, any applicant for a permit or permit holder aggrieved by said decision may, within 10 days following said decision, file a written appeal therefrom with the Board of Commissioners of the Township of South Fayette, whereupon the Board of Commissioners shall promptly conduct a hearing and affirm, modify or reverse the decision appealed from. The decision of the Board of Commissioners shall be final.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $600 and costs, or in default of payment thereof, shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense.