[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Haverford 4-13-2015 by Ord. No. 2748. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Administration of government — See Ch. 4, Part 4, Article XII, Departmental Organization, Department of Police.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 86.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 45, Alarm Systems, which comprised Art. I, Connection of Systems to Police Department, adopted 2-14-1972 by Ord. No. 1456, as amended; Art. II, Required Fire Alarm and Sprinkler Systems, adopted 3-11-1974 by Ord. No. 1548, as amended.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any device which emits a warning designed to attract attention to a fire, smoke, harmful gas, criminal act or other emergency requiring the police to respond.
- AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- A series of automatic devices located in certain buildings which cause alarm devices to activate when such automatic device detects an abnormal buildup of heat or detects visible or invisible products of combustion. Such alarm devices will indicate that evacuation of the building is required and response of the Fire Department is necessary.
- AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEM
- A series of pipes containing water or, in certain areas or cases, containing compressed air and equipped with automatic devices that will discharge water directly on a fire when an abnormal or predetermined amount of heat is present.
- CENTRAL STATION OFFICE
- An organization designed to receive and record fire alarm signals from certain buildings, in which there are competent and experienced observers and operators in attendance at all times whose duty it shall be, upon receipt of a signal, to take such action as shall be required to notify the proper emergency responders.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal to which the police respond which is not the result of a burglary, fire, robbery or similar emergency.
- MANUAL FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS
- A series of fire alarm stations located in certain buildings that, when activated manually, will cause a series of alarm devices in said building to activate, indicating that evacuation of the building is required and response of the Fire Department is necessary.
- An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
It shall be required that any property owner or lessee of a property that installs an automatic or manual alarm system first register such system with the Township Department of Code Enforcement before putting the system into operation. The alarm user registering as required in this section shall complete the registration form provided by the Township, which shall include the alarm user's name, the address of the property where the alarm system has or will be installed and at least two other persons who can be reached at any time and who are authorized to respond to an alarm and who can open the premises in which the alarm is installed. The alarm user shall inform the Township of any change in the information required by this section as soon as practicable.
False alarms endanger the public safety by committing emergency vehicles, personnel and other resources to investigate a nonemergent matter. The activation of any automatic fire alarm system, automatic sprinkler system or manual fire alarm system where the emergency responder determines that such alarm is unwarranted is hereby declared a public nuisance.
It shall be a violation of this chapter to cause a false alarm.
The provisions of this chapter pertaining to false alarms shall extend to local audible alarms as well as a device connected to a central station monitoring agency as defined.
Audible alarms must be equipped with a timing mechanism which disengages the audible alarm after 15 minutes.
The police officer responding to an alarm which he determines to be false shall promptly issue a false alarm violation notice to the person in whose name the alarm device is registered.
A fee fixed by resolution of the Board of Commissioners and amended from time to time shall be charged against any person in whose name an alarm installation is registered for a false alarm.
Any person, firm, corporation or business that shall knowingly cause a false alarm shall be subject to a fine in accordance with the penalty provisions of this chapter.
Any person, firm, business or corporation who fails to pay a false alarm fee referenced in this chapter within 10 days of receipt of written notice thereof shall be subject to the penalty in accordance with the penalty provisions of this chapter. Notice shall be sent by certified mail to the owner, occupant or other agent responsible for the alarm system within 15 days of the false alarm incident.
All manual fire alarm systems, automatic fire alarm systems and/or automatic sprinkler systems shall be maintained in good operating condition at all times. The Department of Codes Enforcement shall inspect any installed alarm and/or sprinkler system in any building subject to a periodic fire inspection in order to determine that the system is reliable and is not subject to false alarms because of its lack of quality or maintenance.
In the event the Codes Enforcement Officer finds the system to be substandard, he shall notify the owner(s) in writing of such system that it must be immediately repaired to prevent false alarms or failure. The failure of the owner to take corrective action ordered by the Codes Enforcement Officer within the period of time prescribed in the written notice will subject the owner to the penalty provisions of this chapter.
Any person, firm, or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter, upon conviction thereof, in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues or each section of this chapter that shall have been found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.